Town Square

Post a New Topic

City Council takes up Castlewood's union dispute tonight

Original post made on Apr 6, 2010

Locked-out hourly union workers at Castlewood Country Club are expected to be back at tonight's Pleasanton City Council meeting for a public hearing on a resolution aimed at resuming negotiations between the two sides.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 6, 2010, 7:32 AM

Comments (46)

Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 6, 2010 at 9:37 am

Would the City Council resolution state that the lockout has positively improved dozens of new workers lives and has increased the well-being of those workers and their families? And that this reflects well upon the Pleasanton community as a whole?
I doubt it.

Posted by Julia, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2010 at 9:43 am

The Pleasanton City Council should butt the hell out. Take care of your own City business and stop trying to be like Obama and socialize everything. It's private company business..."butt-out".

Posted by TG, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 6, 2010 at 10:03 am

The Council has no business in disbutes between private business and a union. Stay the hell out.

Posted by Mary, a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 6, 2010 at 10:36 am

May I remind you only 6 of the employees this affects live in Pleasanton. Four hundred members live in Pleasanton and we all want you to butt out. I might not be able to vote for you or against you but you can be sure that I will try to influence my friends.

Posted by bob, a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Apr 6, 2010 at 11:00 am

Why are city council members throwing rocks at Castlewood for drawing the line at not paying 100% of Medical Benefits for restaurant workers, when most other restaurants in town pay no benefits at all?

Is the City Council going to pass a resolution to demand that all the restaurants and coffee houses in town pay the same wages that Castlewood is being asked?

Why is Castlewood held to a different standard?

Posted by fact checker, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2010 at 11:13 am

Some of the Pleasanton City Council only suggests that both parties go back to the bargaining table and bargain in good faith. If you look at the resolution it only asks that negotiations continue, it does not DEMAND anything. It is online, check it out.

The decertification vote failed. Now I think the law requires that the parties return to the table.

Are we a community of character?

BTW The last offer sent by the Union reps does not ask for 100% medical. $795 per worker amounts to about 40% of their wage. What is currently on that table is to pay $225 and take a wage freeze.

Posted by Puck, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2010 at 11:37 am

You must remember that Castlewood has an additional 90 employees that are on the same plan that is being offered to the union people. Point is, when you start figuring cost you need to add in the additional 90 non union employees since Castlewood treats all of their employees equaly and with respect. The packages of benifits and the pay are all pretty close regradless if they are union or non union employees. Union does not get more just because they are union.
As far as the hourly pay. Tes we have servers making $12.00 and hour base pay, however when you figure in tips that hourly pay junps to as much as $28.00 per hour. Little thing the union forgets to tell you about. Those tips are slpit with the busboys. The cooks tend to make a higher rate of pay to help make up for them not getting into the tip pool.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I have served food for a living. Yes, they get to split tips but there are days when one is sent home because there is no one there to eat or to tip. It is not an income one can count on. And the average certainly isn't $28 an hour. It may be that when it is busy but you have to be consistently busy to make that.

The group that are part of the union has been at Castlewood for 30 years and have always been able to come to an agreement. There has never been any strikes. Now it is take the management offer or hit the road. This is a management initiated LOCKOUT. NOT THE SAME THING! Lockouts are not respectful. It is shutting the door on the conversation.

There is a phase in on the table.

Posted by B. O. Nuts, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Why is the Pleasanton City Council getting involved in a labor dispute - especially when Castlewood is not even located in the City? This seems another case where the Hippy Mayor, and liberals Cook-Callio and Sullivan, are trolling for more union campaign contributions - a repeat of their beating up on Wal-Mart because they are not unionized. It would be nice if the Hippy Mayor and the Council concentrated on fixing some of the problems with the City and less time being union lap dogs.

Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 6, 2010 at 1:05 pm

...and Torrico lap dogs. See letter Torrico sent to Castlewood (Web Link).

Posted by mary, a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 6, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Mr Torrico fails to add to his letter that he and the union people entered the valley club house, which is a members only facility. He is just looking for votes, but we will remember him and all the rest of the elected officials coming voting time.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Apr 6, 2010 at 2:47 pm

I don't understand the rage of the club membership? Seems excessive?

Hopefully, it will become a win win situation and get settled soon.

Posted by Social member, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2010 at 3:06 pm

As a Pleasanton resident & homeowner for 30 years (& CCC social member)I am really, really angry that a Pleasanton Council would dare to meddle in the private business of a private club. I cannot comprehend nor accept their over-reaching. What arrogance. There are no adequate justifications. They just attempt rationalizing their actions to each other....but that does not fly in the real world.

There should be legal and criminal actions against the hired thugs that were protesting right up to the clubhouse...past the pillared entrance onto private property. I assure you not one obnoxious picketer is a 'member' nor was there at the INVITATION of any MEMBER.
Clubmember rules are that all guests must be attended by a member and guests never allowed on premises without a member. Even members would not be allowed on premises if they were loud or obnoxious...and certainly NO person would be allowed to intrude or disrupt any EVENT. They should all be criminally charged as should Matt for inciting the riotous behavior. HE escalated the behavior...condoning bad behavior and publizing personal information. And ALL this on and about property outside Pleasanton city limits.!!!! There is NO justification. I will not watch his bumbling excuses for behavior UNbecoming an elected official. Shameful.

Posted by sorry to see, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2010 at 8:40 pm


yippee for Matt, Jennifer and Cheryl - voted YES. It does nothing but make them feel fuzzy IMO.

Jennifer quote: "Ok, well there you go" (we approved a statement - big deal.

Sorry they are locked out, but this is not city business.

Posted by TB, a resident of another community
on Apr 7, 2010 at 6:11 am

If the City Council and Mayor want to get involved in this private labor dispute, why don't they mimic Obama and pony up a bunch of city money to subsidise the Workers Health Benefits. That will resolve everything. Except their re-election.

Posted by Rick, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2010 at 8:14 am

How do the people of Pleasanton vote for these idiots that try and meddle in other people's business. Just trying to get some votes. Kick them out when you get the next chance, no wonder Pleasanton is starting to look like a joke downtown. Idiots running our local city. And lets patch streets that need no work and leave huge holes unprotected on Vineyard so we can ruin our cars. They seem to hire idiots to maintain our infrastructure too.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 7, 2010 at 9:37 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Do you agree that the picketers should get off the streets and for the issue to be resolved more privately? If the way to do that was for both sides to get back to negotiating, would you agree that they should?

A resolution that doesn't do anything other than send a letter to both Castlewood and union management expressing the community's desire for the two parties to get back to negotiating can hardly be called "meddling". There's no demanding, no authoritarian forcing, only asking. And it is much more civil and non-authoritarian than organized stalking.

Posted by Qwerty, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2010 at 10:41 am

The Castlewood Country Club is a private organization and should be able to do what it wishes regarding its workforce. If they are not part of Pleasanton, then Pleasanton city officials should stay out of this.

Posted by Al., a resident of Downtown
on Apr 7, 2010 at 10:54 am

Welcome to Europe, the City Council's there decide what is best for your business, makes life easier doesn't it? City fathers and mothers of the the Pleasanton City Council need to keep their noses out of ther private sector. Castlewood Country Club has been around for many years. I patronized it when it was the Old Hearst Ranch,they have demonstrated their ability to run a successful enterprise, let them negotiate with the labor, this issue is not City of Pleasanton business.

Posted by Member, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2010 at 11:36 am

I noticed that Castlewood management posted job openings on craigs list for food and beverage workers on Monday so I called the HR Manager and asked her what the response was. She told me that she recieved 214 applications in 24 hours. I guess the pay an working conditions aren't all that bad at Castlewood Country Club. Isn't free enterprise a great thing. My vote is replace them all.

Posted by Disgusted, a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 7, 2010 at 11:43 am

I've lived in Pleasanton for over 30 years. I didn't realize we had such a community of mean spirited people. They all sound so angry. Maybe they should seek professional help. Maybe some meds??? Isn't there anywhere else to aim your hate???

Posted by My 2 cents, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2010 at 2:24 pm

I am not a member of the country club, but I agree with Member above. The club must do what is in the best interest of its members and its finances.

I am surprised that the City Council is getting involved in a PRIVATE matter. Yes, it is private because unlike the PUSD, the country club runs on PRIVATE funds, and as such, they have the right to decide to do without unions and to set the pay and benefits. If employees do not like what the club management has to offer, they can always look for a job elsewhere.

btw, jobs such as cook in other places do NOT have benefits. I remember in College, I worked in a restaurant to help pay my bills, and I did not have health insurance or anything. I was glad to just get some extra money to help with College expenses.

Those who feel they are entitled to health care, just wait for Obama's plan to kick in, you can be covered that way.

Posted by My 2 cents, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2010 at 2:29 pm

One more thing: jobs such as the one of cook seldom have benefits for the employee, much less for a spouse or kids, so the country club was actually generous to even offer such benefits to the entire family for free for so many years. With the economy the way it is and health care costs about to go up when the new "reforms" kick in, I do not blame the country club for being proactive and looking at what makes sense for them financially.

City Council: you should not get involved in a private matter, especially when this is an unincorporated area!

Posted by Bucket, a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Apr 7, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I sure hope CCC responds to our City Council "with hostility and disregard" so they can all cry a river with Matt Sullivan.

Posted by Jason, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 7, 2010 at 9:53 pm

PUSD is broke, we aren't filling open positions (including public safety), we just got sued by Jerry Brown and will have to either appeal or re-zone a substantial amount of land then figure out to deal with the impact of very low income housing on our infrastructure. Faced with all of this the City Council is interfering in an employee labor dispute for a business located outside of the city limits? Toss them all in the next election and let's also dump Torrico, Hayashi and Corbett. We deserve better.

Posted by Concerned, a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 8, 2010 at 9:04 am

I am amazed that this community puts up with such liberal politicians. They need to focus on their business. You need to understand that government agencies in the US now have more union members than the private sector. This is simply an extension of this dynamic. It would be good for local politicians to state their party affiliation (Democrat, Republican, or Indpendent) when they run so that you will have a better idea how they will act once they get in office.

Posted by Jimbo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2010 at 9:08 am

Great. What's next for our city council. A resolution on Global Warming? A Nuclear Free designation?

Stop pontificating about problems that have nothing to do with you, and get back to the business of running the city. Our downtown is dying, our schools are broke, and you take sides in a labor dispute?

Time to be voted out.

As for the workers, apparently you didn't get the memo. It is a recession, and there are 20 people behind you that would gladly take the job. If you don't like it, quit. Unions have grown way too powerful in this state, and we are paying the price now with businesses leaving and slow job growth.

Posted by Ptown Resident, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 8, 2010 at 9:34 am

Did the council understand that the Union sent out letters stating a "kitchen worker" at the Club made only $15.00 per hour so couldn't afford family health insurance. According to the California Employment Development Department, the average wage in Alameda County for that work is $10.87 so Castlewood is paying that employee 40% more than the going rate. Why does this Concil take sides when they don't know all of the issues? There appear to be only two council members with any sense of fairness. I hope we vote the others out next election.

Posted by Stargazer, a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 8, 2010 at 9:52 am

It's a sad situation for everyone. Castlewood CC is going through tough times because of the recession, and the wage structure for its hard-working staff simply can't support rising insurance costs. The new healthcare reform law will eventually help solve this problem, but until 2018, labor and management have to work together to find a less costly solution. Castlewood is not the only country club or health club in the region. Has anyone thought about pooling their resources to cut a better deal with the insurers?

Posted by B. O. Nuts, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2010 at 10:02 am

The People of Pleasanton really must replace the current Mayor and all council members but Cindy McGovern. Their priorities are really screwed up. Instead of sticking thier noses where they don't belong or worrying about state and national politics, why don't they worry about attracting employers to Pleasanton, figure out how not to be continually be on the losing end of lawsuits, figure out how not to continually be outmanuevered by Livermore, Dublin, San Francisco and Alameda County, improve traffic flow, fix the streets, address the lack of downtown parking?

This entire charade with butting into the Castlewood labor dispute was trolling for union campaign contributions.

Posted by Frank, a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 8, 2010 at 10:27 am

This will not be a popular post. It seems that most people here are well enough off to belong to the country club. That's good for you. The rest of us are not so lucky. As the rich get richer and the middle class continues to dwindle away, it's starting to remind me of Mexico- a country of haves and have nots. Luckily for most of you, you won't ever have to be concerned.
Of course you don't like unions. You see them as taking money out of your pocket. But for the average worker, whether you are union or not, they have been a godsend. That's the reason we have a 40 hour week (although as union membership decreases, so has the 40 hour week), livable wages, any health care at all (do you think if it was left up to the employer that health care would even be an option?), safe working conditions, etc.. These people are not getting rich because of their cushy union jobs- no union member I know has become rich from their job. All they want is to be able to live comfortably. They probably aren't going to be country club members or drive fancy cars. I don't think you do that on 12 dollars an hour no matter how good the tips are.
Thank you City Council for helping the two sides at least get back to talking and hopefully resolve this in a way that both sides win.

Posted by Rick, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2010 at 11:00 am

Frank get a life. Move to Europe.

Posted by D W, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

While I am with Stacey & Disgusted in their remarks, here's another reality to look at.

Yes, the issue is a PRIVATE matter. But the protests are happening on PUBLIC streets and they negatively affect PUBLIC safety! This PRIVATE dispute has been covered by PUBLIC newspapers before it grabbed the attention of the PUBLIC council. THIS IS NOT PUBLIC MEDDLING WHEN THE DISPUTE AFFECTS PUBLIC SAFETY! Yes, PUBLIC leadership may not deserve our trust. But what has PRIVATE leadership done to deserve our trust? This city is extremely lucky that most PRIVATE businesses consists of good people.

Unfortunately, PRIVATE speculation and risk-taking elsewhere has taken down the PUBLIC economy and has drastically hurt the PUBLIC community. This is NOT a liberal or conservative issue! This is a human issue that affects all human beings, rich, middle, or poor!

Please give me local leaders PUBLIC and PRIVATE that care about the well-being of all people at all levels anytime over outsider Tea Party schmucks who only rant about the recession and have no clue on what most local communities have to face on a daily basis, while unwilling to show calm, discreet life-balancing judgment instead of recklessly obsessive screams that only emulate the hot empty air that is supposedly 'entertaining' and 'fun. Give me a break!

All 3 parties involved at Castlewood simply have to step up through better communications. That's what it will take. Nothing else.

Posted by fedup, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 8, 2010 at 11:20 am

The City Council is grandstanding on an issue that they have very little knowledge. Do other golf courses in the area pay full medical costs? Of course the answer is no. Are the proposed costs in wages and benefits in line with the other area golf courses? The answer is yes. if the city council wants to get involved in union wages, look at how the Pleasanton City workers are being overpaid and stil getting raises while the rest of us are working with no raises and in many cases lower wages.

Why would Castlewood Mgt listen to the Pleasanton city council? Why would we vote in city council members who show such poor judgement on where to spend their time and energy.

We need an investigation of all city spending on wages, benefits and overtime. That would be enlightening. We can give 10% of the savings to the new Castlewood workers!

Posted by Frank, a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 8, 2010 at 11:21 am

Clever response Rick.

Posted by Kelly, a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Apr 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Casltewood Management and their 400 members are invited to attend the TAX Day T.E.A. Party at the Fairgrounds on April 15th. from 2-7pm (Entrance to the event is free). This special event will include: Speakers, Candidates, music and more! Enter through gate 8 which opens early 12:00 so people can visit booths and eat lunch.

Are you sick of BIG Government, High taxes, Candidates that don't represent us? Then come out to the TAX Day T.E.A. Party at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds April 15th from 2-7pm.

I found this information at

Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I second Frank's comments above.

Interesting to see the overall response from supporters and members of Castlewood is "mind your own f***ing business". Their attitude certainly reminds one of the "let them eat cake" mentality.

Posted by Nurse Shark, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Apr 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm


How much will entry to the Tea Party be? I'm curious to see what you guys are like in person, but I'm wary about Tea Partiers collecting my money to redistribute as they see fit. Kinda like when I pay my taxes.

Posted by justme, a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Apr 8, 2010 at 1:47 pm

why doesn't the city council mind its own business. i'm tired of government sticking its nose where it doesn't belong.

Posted by Get a Clue, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Frank and John
While it appears you "Support" the City of Pleasanton getting involved in a private clubs collective bargaining issue (as if they have some kind of magical wand)why don't we just ask Castlewood to pay the same wage package and benefits that the city pays to the workers at the city owned golf course (Calippe). Castlewood would jump all over it because every Castlewood employee would have to take a pay cut plus a reduction in benefits, and that is from what Castlewood is offering. So tell me again why Castlewood should continue to overpay for services!

Posted by Castlewood member, a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Apr 11, 2010 at 9:12 am

Thank you Pleasanton City Council for trying to help get the Country Club and the Union back to resolving this lockout. Thank you for supporting an end to the Lockout. Thank you to the Castlewood members who have written letters, made phone calls, and sent emails asking Castlewood management to end the lockout and give the workers their jobs back while they get this issue resolved. Thanks to the many local & state politicans and the local church/religious leaders who have marched and/or prayed with the employees and sent letters to Castlewood asking for an end to the lockout. One can only hope Castlewood management listens and cares.

Posted by Castlewood Member, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2010 at 7:04 pm

They are not coming back until they agree to a new contract and I hope that is not any time soon. The union is not welcomed at Castlewood any longer and the employees should have been smart enough to figure that out by now. The longer they are out the easier it is to move in another direction.

Posted by Topsy, a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 13, 2010 at 6:00 pm

What I can't understand is why the police let the protesters park all over Castlewood Road and along Sunol in places that are definitely not designated as parking places? If anyone else parked there they would be ticketed in a heartbeat. And they even barbecue right alongside the train tracks and no police intervention. Should the golfers start barbecuing on the train tracks? And the loud drum beats on a Sat morning.. would any of us get away with that. Maybe Hosterman and her fellow Commies could talk to the police about these illegal activities instead of trying to run the country club.

Posted by Malcolm G, a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 28, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Every keystroke in this string of comments reminds me why I am so glad I live in San Ramon...if I didn't know the content, I would think these comments were written by Danville residents!

You need to understand the facts about the strike...
The employees, by law, have the right to unionize...there was a vote...the employees chose to keep the union...the Club was shocked...and now wants to break the union.

Get back to the table and negotiate...12 tournaments moved...membership equity IN THE TANK...don' t blame the city council, don't blame Barack Obama, blame the rock heads on the board at CCC...they make Judge Schmales look like Emily Post.

Be proud of your town...because you should be ashamed of yourselves!

By the BO, you need to turn off Bill O'Reilly and educate yourself before you speak ( or type)'re embarrassing yourself.

Posted by Independent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Unconscionable ! I can't believe this last group of anti-American meddlers ! You are not worthy of enjoying the 'FREEDOMS" granted to American, since you don't believe in or value those principles ! !
Sad those priviledges are wasted on you. This is a private business outside the city limits of Pleasanton. Shame on the council for intruding into private affairs....simply none of your concern.
The unions should not be allowed on private property, namely the clubhouse entrance and parkings....starting at the 2 markers before the pool...that's private property ! ! I hope the board never gives inm, the process is just plain wrong, and very anti-american.
council's trying to justify their misguided behavior re union contracts....what's happening with the contracts that have allowed, that are bad for the city ????? Who is defending our's plain to see they do not value our freedom.

Posted by Malcolm G, a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 29, 2011 at 9:22 am

Can't you understand the City Council is tired of the black eye your city has because of the racial overtones in this lock out...Take a deep breath and think...enough with the Glen Beck heavy sighs and panting...I try not to stay away from guys wearing a "Jesus Jumpsuit" under their clothes.

Someone has to use their heads and get this fixed so the value of these memberships gets back to a solid double digit number ($10,500 down from the $50,000+ value is not all economy-driven). If there was any value left in these memberships you would see a mass exodus from the club...but many are stuck, having to mingle with the 60+ age rockheads who think they are smarter than everyone else, while sipping on their Manhattans.

In addition, the buffoons running Kastlewood Kountry Klub (yes,KKK) think they "doing real well" in this lockout. Atleast 12 Golf Tournaments have been cancelled...The A's, Raiders (and other sports teams) have bailed...lest we forget their employees are Union members too. Weddings are being cancelled left and right as well.

At some point you have to negotiate and get this done...I watched the NFL draft last night and Roger Goodell was "booed" excessivley for the current NFL lockout, yet at this lock out, everyone is mad at the workers?

I am not a Union supporter at all, I am a get it done and get over yourself supporter...the longer these comments are written, the more of the "true" Pleasanton personna comes out---and as a a curious observer, this look more like Birmingham, AL than Pleasanton, CA!

If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

and my friend here will have the kibble."
By Tom Cushing | 12 comments | 1,211 views

Job growth is driving housing prices
By Tim Hunt | 3 comments | 1,081 views

Sentinels of Freedom Newsletter
By Roz Rogoff | 0 comments | 738 views

When those covering the news become the news
By Gina Channell-Allen | 0 comments | 114 views