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Castlewood management, union farther apart than ever

Original post made on Nov 24, 2010

With the lockout at Castlewood County Club now well into its ninth month, the 57 full- and part-time workers are reminding people they haven't given up.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 24, 2010, 7:19 AM

Comments (35)

Posted by Castlewood Member, a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 24, 2010 at 9:04 am

Can't wait to see how the city employees react to getting their healthcare benefits cut. Everyone feels entitled to what they've been getting whether it ruins the town or the club.

Posted by RestOfStory, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2010 at 9:28 am

Thank you P.W. for another biased article--Very predictable.

You left out how the local workers (not their "Local" union representative in Oakland) and Castlewood management wanted to meet during the year leading up to the lockout. The Oakland-based union leadership refused. The workers continued to work under the long since expired contract that Castlewood wanted to negotiate. Finally out of frustration Castlewood was forced to lock out their workers. Then, and only then did the Oakland-based union leadership suddenly want to negotiate. Much of the rest of the dribble reported in P.W. articles is simply union P.R. No real content or analysis, just "journalism".

Posted by Truth b Told, a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 24, 2010 at 9:52 am

This is such old news. As usual the Union has made misleading statements in an attempt to gain the support of the casual observer. They tell you that they have filed two complaints against the Club with the NLRB but they forget to add that neither complaint has resulted in any action against Castlewood. Anyone can file a complaint, but is it valid? The Union representative also forgot to mention that the Union did not make any new proposals for over 6 months yet complained that Castlewood would not negotiate with them. Tough to negotiate when there is only one side making any proposals.
The Union did make two true statements in the article, the Club is "much happier" with the replacement employees than with the Union employees who felt entitled. They are also correct that all of the good employees have moved on to other non union jobs and have discovered the reality of what is fair compensation for their job skills on the open market, which is much less than the bloated wages and benefits that the Union is demanding from Castlewood. It is my understanding that Castlewood wrote letters of recommendation for several of the locked out employees when they were seeking employment. Just wonder what the Union has done to get jobs for their members since they seem to all be seeking jobs at non union establishments?

Posted by Alfonso, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2010 at 10:55 am

I cannot understand why Castlewood doesn't tell these workers to accept the contract in 10 days or they are teminated. They can easily fill these jobs with new employees.

Congratulations, PW, on a another fine example of biased reporting.

Posted by A Tax Payer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Turth be told some of the union people have turned down jobs non union places because they said they're just going to collect unemployment and the money the union pays them to protest because they don't have to work for it. So I guess the rest of us with jobs are going to support them while they vacation on unemployment. These are your taxes at work. So think twice when you think you want to support those workers efforts to continue the strike. Economics have changed and these workers need figure it out.

Posted by CCC Member, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm

The irony here is that this union served Castlewood for 40 years without any labor issues. The lockout didn't need to happen and ahyone who thinks that it's because of health care costs isn't being honest. This could have been resolved without undue hardship on the employees if the board was interest in a settlement. They've taken a hard line and used health care as the wedge. At the end of the day, they could care less about the plight of the locked out workers. This is simply a union breaking tactic that won't succeed. Who do you think has the deeper pockets?

Posted by Seniority, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Unions hold independent free-thinking Americans hostage. Union leaders would rather destroy our schools (and CCC), than dump silly 'seniority' rules....under the very wrong, mistaken theory that longer means better. It does NOT ! The students, other teachers, CCC, and .....the OTHER workers , all suffer from the insane concept of seniority.

Posted by Truth b Told, a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 24, 2010 at 3:04 pm

CCC Member - Since you seem to have all the inside information please share with us why the lock out is not about healthcare costs. Tell us why Castlewood would want to divorce itself of the Union if there have always been such good relationships for all these years. Did the Board just wake up one day and say lets break the Union. While I doubt it, you seem to have all the answers.
And "Seniority" is correct; the union's seniority system breeds mediocrity among the employees.

Posted by Another CCC member, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 24, 2010 at 3:50 pm

The CCC member a few posts above who starts out with "The irony here is that this union served Castlewood for 40 years without any labor issue" is part of a fringe group of members who are siding with the employees.

It's very frustrating as they can't figure out that if you take the job of the employee, let's take waitress as an example, and see what they pay and what health options there are on the open market, Castlewood was far superior even with the cuts.

What the weekly doesn't tell you is that most of the employees that have been there 20 years or more were happy to take the new deal. It is the newer employees that are being conned by the union that are the problem.

Another thing that is interesting to note that hasn't been talked about is this is a "unique" sort of lock out. Let's assume this lock out is resolved and the workers come back. Do they really think that the members are going to be as nice or as generous with tips after being told that they were greedy and no good for the past year?

Finally I agree that the food and service is much better then it was before. Hmmm I wonder if this has to do with the fact that the new workers can be fired at anytime and have more motivation to keep their job.

Posted by Mike, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2010 at 4:30 pm

"...40 years without any labor issues", that can probably be said about most public and private unions. BTW, that sounds like something a union rep would say. The reason there weren't issues is because times were pretty good and the unions typically got what they wanted, and then some. Times are changing, revenues are decreasing, and every line of everyone's budget is being scrutinized. The days of the one-directional northbound compensation package is over. Castlewood UniteHere members should ask themselves if the union is working in their best interest, or the best interst of UniteHere.

If Castlewood likes the service they are now getting they should stick with it.

Posted by Dilbert, a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 24, 2010 at 5:58 pm

This Union doesn't have a clue.

They want to gain the sympathy of the CCC members (owners) to get the board to negotiate a "fair" contract. How do they do that? They send those workers out to harrass the members with chants like "Castlewood you're no good," or "We don't get no justice, you don't get no peace." What would make anyone think they'd get someone's support with harrassment and threats?

One has to ask why the Union would do such a thing? Do they really want support from the membership or do they have another agenda?

What does bother us is when they harrassed a bunch of kids. Castlewood allowed the American Junior Golf Assocation to utilize the courses. The AJGA brings kids together from all over the world for golf. The Union sent people up to harrass these kids and would only stop if their organizer wrote a letter supporting the Union. To get them to stop, the AJGA agreed. But, when their tournament was over wrote a retraction.

Workers, wake up. You are being led astray. You should have listened to the council of the more senior workers instead of that Union.

Posted by Klisvak, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2010 at 8:58 am

Review the basics. CCC is a Non profit organization. The Members are hard working people who have created a beautiful, friendly family playground. It is NOT an ugly capitalistic organization, taking advantage of the workers. There is no need for organized labor!

The Members have always treated the employees as a family. The pay back is really unbelievable. The elderly lady (server) who always had her hand out for generous tips is now shouting threats and shaking her fist at the golfers walking by.

I SAY!!!!

It is over. No more Union.The Union is gone from CCC forever. The protesters's harassment chants are a white noise, kinda like #680.

How hard is that to understand?

Posted by C-hood, a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Nov 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm

As a CCC member, I strongly support the CCC's position as do 95%+ of the membership. For the few members that do not, too bad, but the will of the majority deserves to followed.

All the good former employees have moved on and found new jobs; the few that are lingering with the union are the lower performing employees that we would not want back anyway.

We have moved on, the gravy train is has left the station and will not be returning.


Posted by Jimbo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2010 at 8:34 am

Typical Pleasanton Weekly Sympathy piece for Unions. Give it up. The Union overplayed its hand and lost.

I love this...

"She said most of the workers have gotten other jobs, but often not full-time and often for less than they were earning at Castlewood.

"Most of them are working in local establishments that are non-union," Norr said."

No kidding. You mean there's a recession out there? They can't find higher paying jobs? That's why Unions will be extinct. They are tone deaf to the realities of the labor market and the economy.

They can hold parades and beat their silly little drums for the next 20 years, but that will not change the reality of economic forces and supply and demand.

Next up: A haircut for Public Employee Unions and their outrageous benefits that are not connected to reality

Posted by thanksgiving picketers, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Our group of 6 relatives arrived at first seating 1:30, as the picketers also arrived. They, 5-6 females with signs, walked right up and sat under the covered walkway to the front door. (judges who would allow such invasion of private property should be dethroned). We had to park temp under cover to unload the elderly, parkinson's ridden gentleman...needing three of us,struggling to transfer him to the wheelchair....just 3-4 feet from picketers. One did have the decency to scoot over (sitting on walk)for us to walk up to the door.
We enjoyed the fabulous food and piano for the afternoon. When we left at 5:00 they were gone.

Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Nov 27, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Venomous, vicious anti-union sentiment amongst the P-Weekly blahggers? What a shock.

It was unions who got us the minimum wage, safety rules in the workplace, Social Security, the eight-hour day...but I'm guessing the average Kastlewood Kountry Klub member is a business owner or executive, hence the anti-union sentiment.

Yeah, I'm with you! How dare those people try to use their Constitutional right to organize and strike for a living wage? The nerve!

(Psst...if there's a recession, why is Kastlewood Kountry Klub membership rising and not falling? Shouldn't the recession affect the members' ability to pay their dues? Unless the recession that affects the rest of us is high times for the KKK?)

Posted by ccc member, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2010 at 7:47 pm

I'm really impressed with the members calling out Peggy Duchie. Takes a lot of courage to take on a 82 year old employee with 25 years at Castlewood. Those of you protesting the workers should be especially proud.

Posted by C-hood, a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Nov 27, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Dear Yet Another Teacher,

You use very poor taste with your KKK reference. Shame on you. You should also be aware that Castlewood CC offered an employment/benefit package that is far superior than anything offered by any other country club or restaurant in the area.

Why should CCC have to provide a compensation that higher than any other establishment else is paying in the marketplace.

Lastly, the cost of CCC memberships is at a 25 year low because of the recession and its effect on the economy.

Get your facts straight next time.

Posted by Bill, a resident of another community
on Nov 28, 2010 at 8:18 am

As a past member of Castlewood, I have one question for the Union.
What have you ever done to promote stability at Castlewood Country Club? Yes, there were some good employees over the years, but what about the not so good? Castlewood CC was bound by the Contract with the Union to keep these inferior workers employed at their own expense. While most ALL golf clubs in the U.S. are suffering financial hardships, did the Union ever offer to cut wages or work an extra hour to help offset this deficit? The Union Boss's have worn blinders, when it comes to the plight of the Club, and ESPECIALLY the plight of their own Members. Wake up ex-employees, dump the Socialist Union Bosses. They do not care about you or your livelyhood. What has the Union done for you the worker????????

Posted by Spider, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 28, 2010 at 6:51 pm

The article says, "and some local officials held a parade", I would like to know who the "local officials" were that participated in the parade? I find it interesting that the "local officials" would side with the Union and the three Pleasanton citizens that are members of the union and CCC employees. How do they answer to the 1500 plus Pleasanton citizens that are affiliated with CCC as members and family of members?

Posted by Phoebe, a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Why does our little o'local media keep covering this? And why is the City Council getting involved? Castlewood isnt even with the Pleasanton City Limits. I guess us affluent P-Towners like the romantic idea of fighting social injustice for the blue collar workers. Look, when I had to take two pay cuts, had my hours reduced, and now have to pay more for my health benefits, and I am barely making ends meet these days, no one defended my rights. I hope a settlement is reached, but geeze.

Posted by Larry Ferderber, CCC member, a resident of Rosepointe
on Nov 29, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Let's get the facts straight – the Castlewood union employees are locked out, not on strike. The union has proposed reductions in benefits with cost sharing by employees, and foregoing raises in order to cut costs and find common ground with the Club. The union has continually put new proposals on the table while the Club has held to their December benefits proposal and recently taken previous tentative agreements off the table. The Club has spent more fighting the union than it would have cost to agree to the union proposal, by a significant amount. Economically viable settlement options have existed all along and still exist. The direct costs of not settling are dues increases for CCC members and continuing lost income for CCC union employees. The indirect costs are continuing disruption of the Castlewood operations and social environment. Given the history of this Union and this Board, this impasse will go on for years, to the detriment of all involved.

Posted by bigdoggomes, a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 29, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I'm confused. The health insurance benefit package is settled? Why write about throw away issues if the main one has not been finalized? Look up the word, NEGOTIATE. For those of you that worship the Unions and all federal and state requirements that have been imposed on our work force through their employers, please remind yourself of that when you go shopping and see if there is anything that states,"Made in USA" on the tag. Heck, we even spend our Government and tax money with other countries, great example is being built across our bay as we write. Thanks Unions, negotiated not only people out of work but work in general. I would rather have spent more money for the Bay Bridge having it built in California keeping our unemployeed working and I sure would feel more safe knowing it was built under a controlled enviroment, from the material certifications to all the final welds. We did not get to where we are by outsourcing everything. I'm sorry but I feel the same about the UNITE HERE using our employees as pawns in a game. Norr should be removed as the union rep. and held personally responsible for ruining the lifes of the people she represents. On the flip side it is not the unions prolem that when companies have poor management and I am not pointing fingers just making a point that with or without a union you still need qualified mangers and supervisors. The union does not keep the dead beats, managers do!

Posted by Shiva, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Boy, its been months and you crazy Castlewood people are still at it. Give it a rest. Get on with your lives. Why does what the Union say get you so worked up? Everyone knows you don't care about the locked-out former employees - so give it a rest. Start your Christmas shopping, volunteer somewhere, just quit all the rantings that make it sound like you don't know what you are talking about. You give ALL CCC members a bad name. Soon EVERYONE in Pleasanton will think that CCC is housing ALL the local nut cases.

Posted by Friendly neighbor, a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 30, 2010 at 11:54 am

The Union won't leave that place. Why it is so difficult to understand? It used to be a country club but their greedy president Jim Clouser: made this place a battle camp. If a union can hold a fight against a Multimillionaire huge corporation such as a Hyatt during 4 years and end the dispute as the winner; how can you possibly believe that CCC has a chance to win? Its funny how rich people can be so naive sometimes, in this situation ignorance is not main problem; the main problem is their arrogance; you think you can buy anything but unfortunately for you the dignity has not price. This is something that cannot be bought and certainly the workers are showing you the meaning of it.

Posted by A smart CCC member, a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 30, 2010 at 11:56 am

UP with the workers!!! DOWN with the bosses; those greedy bosses!!!!

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Can somebody explain how it works?

Friendly neighbor: what do you mean the country club cannot win? Can't they just hire new people and move on? I can't imagine how in a free country like the US, a country club would have to hire the union workers! Is the union some sort of mafia?

Posted by An answer to your question, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 30, 2010 at 2:10 pm

First of all, this is not an strike; this is a lockout. In a lockout is the employer the one that don't allow the employees to work; it is not up to the Union. Assuming that you know that they are different situations, I'll just say that a lockout is legal up to six months, after that time frame it becomes illegal. You just answered your question yourself. This is a free country, this is America, you cannot just fire people without any reasonable justification. The only mafia here is Jim Clouser and the board of directors. If the main problem was the health care, I'm pretty sure that after 9 months of lockout the club has spent more money fighting this non-sense war compared to what they would have paid in benefits in many, many years, and one doesn't need to be very smart to realize that. Its unbelievable how people can be blinded by a dumb ego and their pride.

Posted by What, a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 30, 2010 at 5:07 pm

What are you talking about. If a "lockout" becomes illegal after 6 months then why is a lockout still going on 10 months later? Please think before you write. And your also miss informed, you can fire workers without reasonable justification. Have you ever heard of a "right to work State"? But once again you don't have your facts right, NO one has been fired. IT'S A LOCKOUT

Posted by 279 days, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 30, 2010 at 6:48 pm

As a worker at Castlewood who has now been locked out for 279 days without a paycheck I would be asking my union leaders: "If you are truly representing me, why are you still taking home a full paycheck each week while my family is having to live on unemployment and union strike pay?".

Posted by bigdoggomes, a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 30, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Shiva, what value do you possibly offer? First I was thinking what value you may offer to this settlement than i thought a little and wondered what value you offer to anything???????????

Posted by To What, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2010 at 2:33 pm

This lockout became illegal at the end of August, six months after it started, you are the one that don't know what are you talking about. At the end the club will have to compensate the lockout employees. The club keeps negotiating in bad faith and once its proved, CCC will have to open the wallet one more time. I will say it again just in case you didn't understand it before. A lockout is illegal after six months if the employer negotiates in bad faith and if it can be proofed. It will happen, CCC has a long history of losing lawsuits, disputes, etc....

Posted by To all rich people:, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2010 at 2:51 pm

The best part of a check that comes from the unemployment department is that half of the money comes from the employer's pocket so the club is paying the workers for making noise outside the club and they don't even know it. I envy them for that, I wish I could be picketing and making money at the same time too.

Posted by choods, a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Dec 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Dear To What,
Proofed??? Seriously, learn proper grammar. Also, how is CCC negotiating in bad faith? That accusation seems to fit UniteHere leadership, who wouldn't even let the rank and file employees vote on the club's proposal. The union can keep demonstrating, but they will never be welcomed back.

Posted by Shiva, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2010 at 12:28 pm


The same value you offer..... probably more. BOW WOW

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