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Union members on hunger strike at Castlewood Country Club

Original post made on May 8, 2010

Some of the locked-out Castlewood Country Club workers are on a hunger strike this weekend, and an Alameda Superior Court judge has blocked a request to have the strikers kicked off the property.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 7, 2010, 7:38 PM

Comments (49)

Posted by Dave in AK, a resident of another community
on May 8, 2010 at 8:08 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Posted by Jack, a resident of Castlewood
on May 8, 2010 at 11:29 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Posted by Mike, a resident of Del Prado
on May 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 8, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Whether you agree with their position or not, these people have the right to strike.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on May 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Posted by Larry, a resident of Rosepointe
on May 8, 2010 at 3:27 pm

If David Murphy and Castlewood management are serious about "golfers at he club need silence" the solution is easy and in their hands - end the lockout. All the union protest activities at the club are the natural reaction to the lock out and should have been anticipated by club management when they decide to lock the employees out. The club should not get a free ride while they try to starve out the employees. The solution is in good faith negotiations and ending the lock out as quickly as possible. David Murphy should spend more time at the negotiating table and less time in court.


Posted by Clueless, a resident of Heritage Oaks
on May 8, 2010 at 4:47 pm

@ Larry: Do you mean to say that the club can NEVER get rid of union employees just because they will come back and legally harass club members? That sounds like legalized extortion to me.

Don't get me wrong. I do feel bad for the employees involved because ultimately they're stuck between a rock and a hard place while union leaders and the club extend their dispute. Union leaders get paid to rock the boat so they wouldn't care if this drags on forever. It actually gives them something to do other than sitting in the union HQ bs'ing all day or watching soaps. Hunger strike or no hunger strike, it's time for those employees to move on and find another job. Quit wasting your life away with your union that does not have your interest at heart. Just my 2 cents...


Posted by Feed Up, a resident of Bonde Ranch
on May 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Liberal Larry
How many negotiating secessions have you sat in on? Oh, NONE!! Yet you assume that there has not been "good faith negotiations" on the Clubs part. How do you know that if you have never attended a bargaining secession? Must be your friend Huber has been telling you the gospel truth and that management is nothing but a bunch of liars. If I was you I'd sell my membership as soon as I could!!
Time to move on Larry.


Posted by Nell, a resident of Del Prado
on May 9, 2010 at 8:59 am

Wow! Look at all the republicans sticking up for KKKastle Wood. Oh those poor, poor country club members!


Posted by member, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2010 at 11:55 am

To Feed Up:

And the waiting list to get out of Castlewood is how long? You forgot to tell Liberal Larry that if he is lucky, he might sell it in 2 years. With the current reputation of the club, who knows how long it will now take?

The Men's Invitational should be a great time if this isn't settled by then.


Posted by Shiva, a resident of Downtown
on May 9, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Mike from Del Prado, the Tea Party needs you in Arizona. Go Man!


Posted by Qwerty, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm


I agree with "Clueless".

These people would be better off spending their time looking for another job, or perhaps learning some skills that could lead to something better. There are plenty of organizations that can help them at no cost.

Unions look out for the union and that's it. The people are more like "pawns" or bargaining chips that allow the unions to extended their slimy paws into other pies.


Posted by Pat, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Liberal Larry is [portion removed because it is not verified], fellow members let's tell Larry what we think of his attempts to distrory our club.


Posted by Pleasanton citizen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Pat,

Maybe you should provide your full name too. Got the spine for that?

How sad that one member who questions the actions of your board could actually destroy your club. Is Castlewood really that fragile?

How about that last name Pat??


Posted by Fed Up, a resident of Bonde Ranch
on May 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm

I thought that "hunger strike" meant that you didn't eat. We saw one eating some fruit yesterday. Not so hungry after all.

Member, if you are a true member, then you know that Liberial Larry can sell his membership in a manner of days if he wished too. Guess he is not that embarassed by the actions of the Club. Common LL, be true to your convictions, sell now.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Downtown
on May 10, 2010 at 7:20 am

Why are union workers able to harass golfers on private property the golfers private property. whats wrong with america


Posted by Steve, a resident of Downtown
on May 10, 2010 at 7:23 am

Arizona is my hero


Posted by Individual, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2010 at 9:09 am

America is about personal responsibility. Sadly for some, they voluntarily trade that away for clustering together and surrendering themselves to false leaders,.... like cult leaders, who then convince the gullible to follow them down a path of destruction. It is unfortunate for them. I'm sure they wish they could go back to that first compromise CCC offered them.....but their cult leader wouldn't let them accept it. Too bad for them. Free will and personal choices make for complicated lives.
Theatre doesn't work on me. A little perspective and proportion is needed. Shoulders back, go find a job and live your lives in peace.


Posted by Endo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2010 at 9:30 am

As a layman, I don't understand why the protesters/strikers can be on private property against the will of the property owners/managers.

Am I reading this wrong? "an Alameda Superior Court judge has blocked a request to have the strikers kicked off the property." This would be private property, correct?

The judge won't grant a temporary restraining order, but can't the protesters/strikers be charged with criminal trespassing?

Any attorneys in the know here?


Posted by Rocky, a resident of Castlewood
on May 10, 2010 at 9:33 am

Its sad because alot of employee's want to go to work and refuse to take part in the Strike. We care very much about our members and would never put ourselve in a position to hurt our members. The union does not have to face the members once the strike is over. Most people on the strike line don't have contact with the members.
This whole strike is about savings Health and Warefare for about
12 employees who need family Ins. for their kids. Some people on the Strike line have Medical from their husbands and Wifes. So 58 employees have to be lockout because the union have to save face
The vote to accept the final company offer is better than not working. We have been out of work for about 10 weeks and have lost lots of money we will not get back. We now have no Medical insurance for May.

Rocky


Posted by Observer, a resident of Happy Valley
on May 10, 2010 at 10:08 am

I am not a member of Castlewood, or of a Union, I am a member of the community who has watched this situation go on for several months now. Here are a few things I have observed: Postings from people claiming to be members of Castlewood seem to have a lot of hate and anger towards Unions - any/all Unions; they seem to lack any concern for the welfare of the locked out employees and their families who have severed them for years; they project the same anger and hate towards anyone, member or non-member, who might disagree or challenge the position their club has taken; they have let the situation become combative and abusive; there are times they sound racist; they seem to possess an immature social and moral consciousness; they just seem plain angry and full of hate. I know quite a few members of Castlewood who are decent, caring individuals. They are not members who post the kind of hatred one reads in the PW. Castlewood would be a better, more respectful community partner if they could weed some of these members out of their club or at a minimum urge them to keep their anger and hate locked up inside them, where it belongs. The community would be a more peaceful, less hostile place.


Posted by john, a resident of Canyon Meadows
on May 10, 2010 at 10:21 am

can people protest on your front porch on your property and have a hunger strike. please let me know if that is legal.


Posted by Shiva, a resident of Downtown
on May 10, 2010 at 10:43 am

Steve, when ya leaving? I could probably organize a moving party for you.


Posted by Tim, a resident of Danville
on May 10, 2010 at 1:16 pm

So what are the wages and benefits at area private and municpal golf courses? Pleasanton owns Callippe, please disclose - thanks.


Posted by diane, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Shiva - I'll buy the beer.


Posted by leave it to the boardroom, a resident of Del Prado
on May 10, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Here is the argument in a nutshell.

Union/Workers want what is best for the workers. Not a group of the union workers but all of the workers. It may not be competitive with anything else in the area but they want what is best for their people. It affects individuals at the end of the day and the picketing and the hunger strike is to make sure that the members and the people of pleasanton know what is happening. That is their right and fair for them to do.

CCC has been hit by the economy and is trying to lower their costs in all areas to make them more competitive to existing and potential new members. In this case it affects people and they understand that but apparently feel that they are being fair in their offer to the union and non union workers at the club. That is their right and they are doing what they think is best for the club.

Everything else on this board and what others are saying is nonsense.


Posted by Independent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I would guess the unions went 'judge shopping' or maybe the unions stir up S*%@ often enough they have Winnie Smith on secret retainer for their drummed up protests. She's obviously in their pockets. I've never heard of anybody being given the right to trespass on private property. Unbelievable ! Now we've lost our private property rights! Self-righteous Happy Vally, maybe you let trespassers trample your property, but CCC members have already been WAY too tolerant. I was there on Easter when these paid bullies were beating drums,harrassing children and spooking animals. This anti-American judge should be disbarred for allowing trespassing! She should be disbarred. This was hardly a hunger strike...more like a snack strike. There weren't there late yesterday afternoon...that wasn't even 72 hrs...but it makes good press for dummies. Time to knock it off and get a real job.


Posted by Observer, a resident of Happy Valley
on May 10, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Independent, a resident of another Pleasanton neighborhood:

Sounds like you are a Castlewood member. Thank you for helping me make my point.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2010 at 4:29 pm

It looks like the main problem is the cost of the health plan. Perhaps the workers should ask for a less expensive health plan; maybe a higher deductible or something. I had to change my deductible to a much higher amount so I could afford health insurance.

My feeling is health insurance is to cover unexpected expenses. I have some responsibility for my health and expect I will pay for normal health items (like I pay for food, gasoline for my car, housing, utilities). The insurance kicks in if something catastrophic occurs. That is supposed to be what "insurance" is for. My auto insurance does not cover gasoline, tune-ups as those are normal expenses. Health insurance should do the same thing. It seems like more people today want health maintenance and not health insurance. I don't even see why companies are responsible for health maintenance.


Posted by Independent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Hey, Happy-Smartie, I was an Easter GUEST. I wouldn't pay money to any group that tolerates unions in the first place. I go to great lengths to avoid union mentality... . . I am angered that a group of
people with similar interests, who want to peacefully assemble to enjoy shared interests, and pool money to share expenses to enjoy that activity, can NO longer do so without government interference ! ! Can't hire who you want, or fire who you want...because a special interest judge takes away that right in a state that is a "right to fire " state.."work at will of the employer". No ? ? ? ? Also, a country of private property rights. No ? ? Sad to no longer be free. Anonymous, above says it all so well. Almost everybody I know has made adjustments in co-pays etc. The one good thing is, it certainly brings home to every critical thinker, PUBLIC unions were a disastrous mistake that is bringing down CA and every city & county that sold out to unions in the first place...making hostages out of every taxpayer.


Posted by Observer, a resident of Happy Valley
on May 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm

There you go again. No self control at all.


Posted by Observer, a resident of Happy Valley
on May 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Independent:

P.S.

The workers had been locked out for almost six weeks by Easter and protesting with their drums, horns, chants, etc. just as long. Did you really think they were going to stay home on Easter so you could have a nice quiet Easter Brunch at Castlewood. Come on. Use your "critical thinking" head.


Posted by Independent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Of course I knew the PAID by union hall, professional protesters would be there, which...I went to cross the picket line. Crossing a picket line is a joy for independent, free thinkers. Strikers were NOT locked out until AFTER they refused a fair, viable for all, OFFER, which most workers wanted.....,but, their big bosses stepped in and said NOPE, WON'T do ! Saying we're better than ALL the other suckers and members who are making adjustment, reduction, & consessions in their jobs, positions, companies, etc. Sorry, these unions wouldn't be reasonable ! ! ! Don't start creating your own spin, Happy. Some choose to hand their thinking rights over to others. So be it.


Posted by Observer, a resident of Happy Valley
on May 10, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Independent, are you SURE you are not a Castlewood member? You sure sound like some of them. Not the decent caring ones I know, but you know, the "other" ones. You'd actually fit in well with some of those that love to spew the hate and anger.

Now try to show some discipline and hold all that hate and anger in. I know you can do it.
Try.


Posted by Che, a resident of Livermore
on May 10, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I drove by and saw them and based on what they looked like I believe they should stay on the hunger strike much longer.......say a month or so.


Posted by Independent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2010 at 7:50 pm

........can't think of any reason why I should or would even want to ! Independent rights and responsibility are good for all time.


Posted by Observer, a resident of Happy Valley
on May 10, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Independent, let me make sure I am reading your posts correctly.

You knew the the Paid by union hall, professional protesters would be there at Easter. You just wanted to have the joy of crossing a picket line. Good for you Independent! Did you get the same amount of joy from watching the Paid by union hall, professional protesters harassing children and spooking animals? You should seek help. Soon.

Good luck to you.
Hugs.... Happy


Posted by Larry, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2010 at 7:37 am

I hope they all starve.


Posted by C-hood, a resident of Laguna Oaks
on May 11, 2010 at 9:42 am

The union has done a bad job representing the employees. They should have let them vote on CCC's proposal. Unfortunately now, the club and a majority of its members have been turned off by the union and picketer's actions. It is no longer possible for the workers to return under any circumstances. The ship has sailed and it is time to move forward. It is too bad that the actions of a few of the union employees have ruined it for the majority. The union and its leadership need to accept the responsibility of their actions.


Posted by businesswoman, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2010 at 10:14 am

Why don't the ones who agree to the board's proposal just quit?

Sample Union Resignation Letter for Private Sector Employees
A sample union resignation letter is provided below.

[LETTER TO UNION:
SEND BY CERTIFIED MAIL,
RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED]

[your address]

[date]

[name and address of union]

[To the appropriate union officer (See your union constitution. For the Teamsters, for example, the letter must be addressed to the Secretary-Treasurer)]:

I hereby resign as a member of [name of union]. My resignation is effective immediately. I will continue to meet my lawful obligation of paying a representation fee to the union under its "union shop" or "agency shop" agreement with [name of employer].

Furthermore, I object to the collection and expenditure by the union of a fee for any purpose other than my pro rata share of the union's costs of collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment, as is my right under Communications Workers v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735 (1988). Pursuant to Teachers Local 1 v. Hudson, 475 U.S. 292 (1986), and Abrams v. Communications Workers, 59 F.3d 1373 (D.C. Cir. 1995), I request that you provide me with my procedural rights, including: reduction of my fees to an amount that includes only lawfully chargeable costs; notice of the calculation of that amount, verified by an independent certified public accountant; and notice of the procedure that you have adopted to hold my fees in an interest-bearing escrow account and give me an opportunity to challenge your calculation and have it reviewed by an impartial decisionmaker.

[If you pay dues by payroll deduction, include this paragraph: Accordingly, I also hereby notify you that I wish to authorize only the deduction of representation fees from my wages. If I am required to sign a new deduction authorization form to make that change, please provide me with the necessary form.]

Please reply promptly to my request. Any further collection or expenditure of dues or fees from me made without the procedural safeguards required by law will violate my rights under the National Labor Relations Act and/or U.S. Constitution.

Finally, please consider this objection to be permanent and continuing in nature.

Sincerely yours,

[name]

[If you include the paragraph on the change in your payroll deduction
authorization, you should also send a copy of this letter to the payroll department of your employer.]

*Religious Objectors should not use this letter to resign their union membership.*


Posted by stuck, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Why don't the ones who agree to the board's proposal just quit?

we asked if we quit the union, could we come back as temps? the answer was no, because it would look like castlewood put us up to Quiting. so union pushing one way, castlewood pushing the other, and we're stuck in the middle.


Posted by C-hood, a resident of Laguna Oaks
on May 11, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Dear stuck,

I am sorry for you and your co-worker's predicament. Unfortunately, CCC has to play by a certain set of rules that the union does not. You and your coworker's should have decertified when you all had the chance. Instead, the majority succumbed to the union leadership's pressure tactics and voted the wrong way.


Posted by Unions are outdated, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on May 12, 2010 at 11:44 am

I could not agree more with Castlewood's approach on this. Any small business owner (like myself) will tell you that the health care cost increases over the past 5 years are ridiculous. Most public companies and mid-size businesses require employees to contribute to their own health care costs at rates greater than what Castlewood offered.

I love the comment that someone made "its not like they are demanding huge salary increases." Guess what, when health care costs rise by 10-15% per year and the employee is not paying that increase - that is exactly what they are demanding.

Unions do workers like this absolutely no favors.


Posted by Ralf Johnson, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 19, 2010 at 8:48 pm

A business owner should have the right to employee whomever they want and not be forced to deal with the "mob style" mentality. Unions are exactly what's wrong with America.

P.S. I am not rich, or a member of Castlewood.


Posted by Blue collar turned white, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 3, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Castlewood had proposed a new contract that would have forced workers to pay $739 a month for family health care coverage. Workers had previously not paid for family health care, and 24 workers and 67 dependents relied on Castlewood's family coverage. The proposal would have made coverage unaffordable to many of the workers, most of whom make around $12.50 an hour.

In its counter proposal, the union offered to forgo a $1 an hour raise in exchange for capping workers' family health care contributions to $225 – the upper limit of what it says workers can afford. Financial breakdowns of the two proposal provided by workers show that the union's proposal was actually almost $1,000 a month cheaper than management's. But Castlewood did not respond to the union's proposal, opting instead to lockout its workers on February 25.

Like many in the class of the "haves" and the "have-mores", they want to crush the union, so they'll be able to squeeze every drop out of the workers without fear of retribution. What's ridiculously transparent is seeing the comments here: those of you who've never been in the position of being a worker like these people, you think it's somehow easy for them to just go find another job... May you never find yourself in their shoes...


Posted by Justice, a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 24, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Should courts/law allow union representation to disrupt operations at a private club(on site)to the extent that "fairness" and a true equitable outcome is displaced by paying a "ransom" to the Union?. This union, rather than determine if the new wage proposals are reasonable and fair vs other opportunities for similar work, have instead determined that their wages should be determined by the amount of financial pain and the level of annoyance they can cause. The Courts need to revisit this type of activity, because the message is a bad one! If this Union believes the proposal is not a fair one and can show that in posting the wages and benefits they would get vs what they would get at similar institutions-- then they will get community support and their desired affect. But to cause a nuisance so people don't support the club because of aggressive, abusive behaviour is wrong; and our community should not support this type of destructive activity. We live in a great country, if they feel they are mistreated and underpaid-- there are other places to work.


Posted by Deconstructionist, a resident of Ridgeview Commons
on Aug 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Oxymoron: the above remarks claiming to be Justice;

Moron: the above poster.


Posted by Malcolm G, a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 25, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Not sure how the Club got to the position it is in, but the value of a CCC membership is down to peanuts...not unlike the ones served at the bar!

The membership has beeno brainwashed by the board that the union is their enemy...Hey, you are not taking on Jimmy Hoffa!

SNAP OUT OF IT, it is roughly 60 employees who want to work at this exclusive club and make a decent wage.

At the end of the day it's not about the union...its about how much this disruption is costing the club (in membership total, in membership value, in its PR shortcomings, etc), not to mention the amount of legal fees and lost revenue from tournaments (MLB, NFL SMC, etc).

The ability for the management not to foresee the "bigger picture" tells me that the "leaders" of the Club must not be (or have been) in the financial field. It does not take an Actuary to assess the risks that have eaten away at the value of CCC.

I have even heard that a retired CHP is part of the "No Union" group at CCC...good thing for him that he was not negotiating his retirement and benefits...but probably like many of the CCC folks, "they just work(ed) harder than everyone else".

Keep fighting this "losing battle" and remember, your outsmarting a guy who used to wash the dishes and mow the lawn...

Be careful about the value of your club, because if it gets any uglier, that guy who used to do the dishes or mow the lawn may be the same guy at the next membership meeting---looking to join your exclusive club!


Posted by Malcolm G, a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 25, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Not sure how the Club got to the position it is in, but the value of a CCC membership is down to peanuts...not unlike the ones served at the bar!

The membership has beeno brainwashed by the board that the union is their enemy...Hey, you are not taking on Jimmy Hoffa!

SNAP OUT OF IT, it is roughly 60 employees who want to work at this exclusive club and make a decent wage.

At the end of the day it's not about the union...its about how much this disruption is costing the club (in membership total, in membership value, in its PR shortcomings, etc), not to mention the amount of legal fees and lost revenue from tournaments (MLB, NFL SMC, etc).

The ability for the management not to foresee the "bigger picture" tells me that the "leaders" of the Club must not be (or have been) in the financial field. It does not take an Actuary to assess the risks that have eaten away at the value of CCC.

I have even heard that a retired CHP is part of the "No Union" group at CCC...good thing for him that he was not negotiating his retirement and benefits...but probably like many of the CCC folks, "they just work(ed) harder than everyone else".

Keep fighting this "losing battle" and remember, your outsmarting a guy who used to wash the dishes and mow the lawn...

Be careful about the value of your club, because if it gets any uglier, that guy who used to do the dishes or mow the lawn may be the same guy at the next membership meeting---looking to join your exclusive club!


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