Castlewood's locked out union workers march in downtown Pleasanton | News | |


Castlewood's locked out union workers march in downtown Pleasanton

Saturday morning demonstration came t start of busy pre-Christmas shopping day for merchants, restaurants, Farmers Market

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A group of former Castlewood Country Club unionized workers and their union's representatives marched in downtown Pleasanton this morning to seek public support for their battle against the club.

Some in the group also represented Tri-Valley churches, which had been asked by the union to join in the Pleasanton demonstration.

The country club, located in the center of the Castlewood residential development west of Foothill Road, is in unincorporated Alameda County and not within the city limits of Pleasanton.

Kristi Laughlin, project director of the East Bay Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, asked Thursday for a show of solidarity from for the locked-out workers from local churches by joining in the planned procession through downtown, much the same as a similar event held last year at this time.

The unionized workers were locked out of the country club on Feb. 25, 2010, in a dispute over health care costs. Little movement on either side has taken place in months, although the case is set to go before the National Labor Relations Board early next year.

The dispute has led to a number of protests at the club, including a June 23 protest in which 23 people were arrested for blocking Castlewood Drive in what organizers described as an act of civil disobedience. That protest drew close to 100 demonstrators and nearly 50 police officers from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office and Pleasanton.

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Posted by a Neighbor
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 15, 2011 at 8:39 am

They are wrong to block merchants. They need to go block Castlewood Estates. Leave the the small business people trying to do their job and keep their business going alone.

My healthcare costs have also tripled. These protestors need to go protest at the healthcare company. Block those executives from going to work.

But they need to let the small businesses stay open. Small businesses are the only thing that is going to save this economy.

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Posted by hannah
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 8:49 am

Time to moveon and get a life and perhaps a job.

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Posted by ss
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 8:52 am

there is no such thing as castlewood estates. maybe your keyboard should be blocked. blocking homeowners access to their homes at castlewood country club is stupid and illegal

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Posted by ccwc
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Dec 15, 2011 at 9:00 am

Don't bring your Castlewood Country Club problems to our beautiful downtown Pleasanton. Just get it together and move on! We don't really care!

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Posted by Pleasanton is the Best
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 15, 2011 at 9:07 am

To the outsiders with nothing better to do. Thanks allot for interrupting my business in downtown. Really appreciate you choosing to pull money from the merchants pockets and making the situation worse. Your the 99ers aren't you. To the fine officers of Pleasanton PD and Alameda county...please do your best to recover some of the County's and City expences for all the extra police services through ticketing and whatever means within the law to create some income. Would recommend a speed trap on Bernal and also monitoring the license plates of all their cars to see if they're wanted on any felonies or misdemeanor charges. To the protesters, let's get over this . Oops nevermind you are incapable. Like What are wedrilling about...10 to 20 employees?Who surely have found work allready! Every corporation has forced additional health-care costs on employees again get a life.

And To the organizer Kristi Lauglin. Where do you reside? Where do you work? Where can I round up some people to protest your neighborhood? Your business.

To Pleasanton residents. Please don't let this stop you from coming on down to make this the best day for our local businesses. It may take a bit more time to park but your support will negate the efforts of these evil outsiders. Our families and all the out of town farmers markets owners appreciate you. Besides you get to see these freaks who are coming from occupy Oakland come out of their cars they live out of to make fools of themselves:)

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Posted by misguided
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 9:16 am

Castlewood is not even in the City of Pleasanton. We have no control over that property so nothing good can come out of a protest in downtown Pleasanton. It will only hurt downtown merchants since people will stay away from the area.

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Posted by Larry
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 15, 2011 at 9:21 am

This didn't make sense to me:
Some local religious leaders are inviting their congregations to come out Saturday to help support the workers who have been locked out of Castlewood Country Club.

What religious leaders? I don't believe this, I think it's not true.

Then I read who is saying it, this guy by the name of Kristi Laughlin, project director of the East Bay Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice

Sounds like something right out of OWS to me.

Why can't they just leave the issue alone. Can't they figure out what a lockout is. And now they are going into downtown Pleasanton, crazy bunch of socialists as far as I'm concerned. So the plan is to cause problems for small business owners, the cops should be called out to enforce the law and stop these jerks. Try to find out who they are on the internet, you will be surprised to see who they are.

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Posted by Craig
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 9:39 am

This whole issue is brought to us by socialist loons and oppressive unions.

When in the heck are we going to start dealing with the socialists and unions in this country? They are absolutely killing our economic well being.

Is ICE going to show up at this gathering to see how many illegals they can catch and deport? Of course not! The Bay Area is a sanctuary for illegals.

I'm sure the Three Stooges on our City Council (including our Hippy Mayor) will be there supporting the union, since they seem to be bought and paid for by the unions. I'm guessing the next downtown rally by the socialist loons and the unions will be against the Walmart grocery store. Since the law is clear on this one, I don't know why Walmart doesn't sue the pants off of Pleasanton.

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 15, 2011 at 9:57 am

Please educate yourselves on the issue before making a judgement. Get the facts and then decide for yourselves.

Castlewood is a business like any other and as such, can make its own hiring/firing and other financial decisions. The employees' union appealed to the NLRB which has made some movement negating Castlewood's ability to manage its own finance. Action is still pending.

Here are two articles from The Wall Street Journal regarding the NLRB and its treatment of business, specifically related to Boeing. The first is a news item concerning the NLRB's withdrawal of its complaint against Boeing, and the second is more of an op-ed about the whole process. Here's a quote from the op-ed:

"The NLRB is exposed as one more federal agency that can't be trusted to make honest decisions."

Web Link

Web Link

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Posted by michaelfox
a resident of Heritage Valley
on Dec 15, 2011 at 10:02 am

michaelfox is a registered user.

Careful what you wish for, Pleasanton is the Best. Rabid traffic enforcement is a greater threat to downtown business than a little free speech. I personally haven't spent a nickle downtown in over a year for this very reason. With all that Livermore has to offer, it doesn't make sense to risk having my day ruined by Officer Gora.

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Posted by duh
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 10:08 am

Oh yes, Craig - the socialists and unions are "absolutely killing our economic well being." And I figure you don't think the capitalist bankers/wall-streeters, and criminal mortgage brokers had anything at all to do with that??

Say what you want, but every modern society on this planet is a combination of captialism and socialism. If you thought more about it, you'd really not like living in a truly capitalistic society, particularly if you aren't in the 1%... It would be a world without any of the benefits and services you currently enjoy every day and don't want to pay taxes for.

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Posted by businesswoman
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 10:31 am

I guess this tells us who Kristi really is. Google is a marvelous thing.

You can reach Kristi at 510-893-7106 x 314 or at Kristi[at]

Like this comment
Posted by Businesswoman
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 10:35 am

Wei-Ling Huber
Board President at working east bay, along with Kristi. Isn't she the same person who has been leading the protests at Castlewood?

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Posted by Sara
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 10:58 am

Will somebody please call immigration and send some of these people back to Mexico - then they will really have something to complain about in terms of their lack of health care!
I was born, raised and educated in the U.S. - I also choose to live in the Bay Area as opposed to the Midwest. I am a small business operator and I cannot afford health insurance for my family - at all. You are asking those of us who work hard every day to make a living to feed clothe and shelter our families to feel pity for you because you have been sitting on your a$# for two years complaining about the lack of something many people live without ?!
Grow up, shut up & move on! I hope Castlewood has replaced every single one of these complainers.

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Posted by Anne
a resident of Castlewood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm

This is such a safety issue, the last time this happened you could not get down Pleasanton/Sunol Road. Any emergency vehicles had to go down to Bernal and then down Foothill Road. I sure hope that no one needs an ambulance or we have a fire at any of the homes on the hill. I do not understand how they can get away with blocking a roadway??

Like this comment
Posted by Lino
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 1:17 pm


You can't afford Health Insurance, thank all of the politicians who voted down the Public Option Initiative. It would have created the necessary competition against the artificially inflated prices created by the Health Insurance Oligarchy.

Unfortunately lobbying spoke (or most likely paid off) louder.

Like this comment
Posted by huh
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 1:45 pm

The posts above got me to thinking - Who is EBASE? Seems to me they sound more like a union run organzation...not a Faith run organization.


EBASE advances economic, racial and social justice by building a just economy in the East Bay based on good jobs and healthy communities. We address the root causes of economic injustice by developing strategic alliances among community, faith, and labor to build power and create change with low-income workers and communities of color.

EBASE imagines a vibrant East Bay where good jobs, healthy communities, and engaged residents are the norm. In this decade, EBASE will contribute to transforming the economy by winning campaigns that help to rebuild an inclusive middle class.
In our vision, barriers based on race and class will not exclude segments of society from shared prosperity. Today’s neighborhoods of color with the highest rates of poverty and unemployment will achieve real pathways into jobs that will sustain their families. Immigrants will enjoy basic human rights and not be subject to second class status and exploitation. Those who live in the East Bay can find a good job here, while those who work in the East Bay can afford to live here.

Kristi Laughlin, Interfaith Project Director:
Kristi has worked as an advocate of social and economic justice in the Bay Area for over twelve years. Prior to joining EBASE three years ago, she spent seven years at the Volunteer Legal Services Program in San Francisco developing supportive services and vocational training programs for low-income women. She also worked on campaigns for peace in Afghanistan and Iraq with the human rights organization Global Exchange. Her passion for justice is deeply motivated by her religious faith, and she is interested in the role of faith in social movements. In May 2007, she finished her masters degree in theology at the Graduate Theological Union, having examined in her thesis the impact of faith and religious organizations in the campaigns of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a farm worker community organization in Florida. She is a practicing Catholic, a lay associate of the RSCJ (Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus), and a coordinator of a group called Interfaith Women for Peace in Berkeley. She is excited to be in a role that builds greater partnership between labor and faith communities.
You can reach Kristi at 510-893-7106 x 314 or at Kristi[at]

Board of Directors

Wei-Ling Huber, UNITE-HERE Local 2850
Vice President
Andrew Slivka, Local 713 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters
Vanessa Daniel, Groundswell Fund
Josie Camacho, Alameda Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Michael Henneberry, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5
Reverend Philip Lawson, East Bay Housing Organizations
Steven Pitts, University of California at Berkeley Labor Center
Jamie Thompson, SEIU United Service Workers West
Diana Wear, Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice

Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Parkside
on Dec 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm

This is all just another show, a power play by the union to make themselves look relevant and to drum up sympathy for their members. They don't want to concede, for fear of looking weak, but this ship sailed long ago. Time to get on with your lives, nothing to see here.

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Posted by Jason
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm

@ Huh:

Thank you for providing details on who these folks really are. Clearly not a faith based organization but a PAC. It amazes me that a group of people who don't live here have chosen to intentionally harm the City of Pleasanton over a labor dispute that occurred in unincorporated Alameda County. This will not give sympathy to their cause.

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Posted by WLP
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Dec 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm

ask the gather's if they can tell you what the dispute is about, and how much money and benefits the Union workers walked away bet is 99% can't tell you! They are no better than a gang taking over turf-- and pleasanton politicians and law enforcement allow it!!!! UNBELIEVABLE. Write to our coucil and let them know to end this or be removed from their seats.

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Posted by Been There
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I'll be downtown on Saturday spending my Christmas budget. I actually might have been at the mall but this made me feel like an injustice was being done to our merchants.

Lots of highly paid executives have been laid off in the past couple of years (my husband included) and they have all had sleepless nights and worked tirelessly to get new jobs.

It's time for these people to get new jobs too. Get over it and bust your butt if you want the American dream. Stop "dreaming" of being rescued by some union.

Help yourself.

Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Geeneyuss
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Well, I guess there's nothing left to do but initiate a little counter protest for Kristi's planned shenanigans this Saturday. Nothing violent, nasty or ill-tempered but a real showing from the citizens and downtown merchants of our disdain for an outsider like herself and her so called "interfaith advocacy" organization attempting to highjack downtown to further their warped ideology.

Call the police, e-mail your civic and downtown business organizations, tell your friends and most of all use the (above supplied) telephone and e-mail contact information for Ms. Laughlin to let her know that she is not welcome nor will this disruptive behavior be tolerated in our downtown.

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Posted by Go away !
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Do these jerks actually think we'd do anything they say from groups like United Brotherhood, United Workers, Labor Couincil, Berkeley Labor Center, Worker Justice...makes me want to rearrange my schedule so I can go downtown, just to cross their line and irritate them...anybody from any of those groups makes me want to puke. It will not work here.
How on earth do any of the creeps think a gang of protesters in Pleasanton would change anything with a private club, outside the city limits of Pleasanton...SO dumb ! Some of this scum are just shXX disturbers...ner do wells LOOKING for any protest.
I have nothing but comtempt for ANY religious group who would dare to take political positions....YANK their tax EXEMPT status...enough already ! ! ! Stick to saving souls, but don't be a pest in the'll quickly wear our your freeloader welcome.

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Posted by JP
a resident of Castlewood
on Dec 16, 2011 at 7:08 am

This Union's Leadership is the most incompetent I've ever seen, they have lost site of what should be their focus-- putting their 60 displace workers back to work at equal comp/benefits that they left behind at Castlewood. 2 years since the lockout and according to recent quotes by Ms Hedge and Ms Norr (both Union reps)the union employees are still "struggling" and "many only can find part time work". What don't they understand???

Instead facing the labor environment, they rather pull on "union solidarity" and create public nuisances to force their position of above market pay?? if we can't prove we are worth what we ask--we'll just make you pay by disrupting your lives. This type of Union activity should be a concern for everyone. It is not good for our economy nor our society. AND the worst part is they've placed all the risk for their Union grandstanding on the backs of their own struggling members-- shame on them! 60 workers who had a nice job offer, have been suffering for over 2 years!!

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Posted by Doug Miller
a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 16, 2011 at 9:00 am

The assertion that 'local religious leaders' are inviting their congregations to support these union activities is the creation of the union organizer, Kristi Laughlin and an example of what passes for journalism today. The first sentence of the article makes this assertion but no names of local leaders or local churches are provided. Judging from the comments above, this planned demonstration will generate a backlash in this community that will not serve the interests of the striking Castlewood workers. But when did that ever matter to the unions?

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Posted by Nosy Neighbors
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 16, 2011 at 11:18 am

Nosy Neighbors is a registered user.

Like a bad case of herpes, those annoying Kardashian women and even the Lyndon La-Rouchies that crawled out from under some large rock last week to pollute the post office parking lot these union thug, social do-gooders just don’t know when to call it quits.

After close to two years now I truly feel sorry for the Castlewood workers that put their faith and fate in the hands of their union bosses to negotiate a reasonable settlement for them, only to be used merely as pawns in the great class warfare struggle that always seems to be the end result of ANY labor dispute these days. The unions never had the workers best interests at stake from the very beginning of this tragic story and after countless protests, sit-ins, marches and blockades all they have now done is to completely alienate themselves from not just the Castlewood members and residents but now the general public, Downtown merchants and shoppers.

Just a quick glance at the mission statement, vision and board of directors of EBASE pretty much sums up where the intent of this supposed “inter-faith” organization lies. They are anti-capitalist, pro-union, socialist leaning, rabble rousing leftists intent on bringing it all down baby! Burn baby burn and if a few innocent citizens, downtown merchants, families with children shopping or Farmers Market vendors get in our way then too d@%$ bad!

We know this type all too well. Aside from the fact that they are outsiders and have no direct involvement with the CCC members, management or community at large and are essentially a rent-a-mob disguised as a “Christian” organization their primary intent is to travel the Bay Area and basically stir up s%#t. Please do as others have suggested and call your appropriate Pleasanton civic, law enforcement (waste disposal would be particularly appropriate) agency to make OUR voices heard.

What happens in Castlewood, should stay in Castlewood. Leave Downtown out of your little reindeer games

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Posted by Jason
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm

EBASE wouldn't be coming here if they didn't believe they will get results. Matt Sullivan has been outspoken in his support of the locked-out workers. The City Council, by a 3-1 vote, passed a resolution pressuring Castlewood's management to resume negotiations. The only member who voted against the resolution was Jerry Thorne.

If you disagree with the City Council don't just gripe about it on this website. Contact council members to them to let them know you will vote for someone else in the next election.

Like this comment
Posted by Paul
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 16, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Sometimes I go to Lucky to buy hamburger buns because they're cheaper than those at Safeway. There is no essential difference between my doing that and Castlewood changing labor pools. That was a business decision made by Castlewood. Given several alternatives, Castlewood made the decision to replace the union workers and the union with a different labor pool. Castlewood met the terms of their then-existing contract with the union and when the time was right, made a move.

The difference between the union and Safeway is that Safeway retaliates by offering me other incentives to change my mind. Safeway recognizes that it's all about business value, unlike the union representing the Castlewood workers. Safeway does not try to force me to come back to their store by holding a proverbial gun to my head. Safeway does not engage government agencies that may appear to be sympathetic to their cause. Safeway does not attack via some perceived rule of law. Safeway does not organize protests against my decision on the streets of the town where I live.

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Posted by dick
a resident of Golden Eagle
on Dec 16, 2011 at 7:34 pm

It is a simple issue that has gone on way too long. Our cities, counties and states are being held hostage by unions representing employees. We cannot afford the cost of these benefits and like Greece and the European community we will be forced to make changes befores these union demands sink our ship. Castlewood made a business decision to stay the course in a bad economy and that is their "RIGHT". Are they suppose to fail finacially just to support the union workers???

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Posted by Dennis
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 17, 2011 at 4:26 am

Jason points out the City Council's actions to support this group. The EBASE Chair, Wei-Ling Huber is the President of the UniteHere Local that appealed to the City Council for help in their labor dispute with Castlewood. She testified at the City Council and championed a resolution from them to force this private club into submission. Jerry Thorn was the only rational person there who asked, "does this have an impact on public safety?" He and Cindy McGovern did not support the action. If you just check who contributed to the other members campaign funds you'll know why the City Council encouraged this type of action.

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Posted by Nosy Neighbors
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 17, 2011 at 11:32 am

Nosy Neighbors is a registered user.

In an attempt to give a true online report of the so-called "protst" I can only offer, LOL, ROTFL, LASHITP (laughing at smelly hippies in the park)at their assembled masses.

Nice work Kristi. You managed to gather together two dozen shunned occupy San Lorenzo rejects, plus the usual suspect downtrodden advocate fellow travelers plus some union muscle for your little show of solidarity for the working class.

Lech Walesa would be soooooooo proud of you. Now just clean up all your trash & go home.

Merry Christmas Kristi!

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Not much of an attention-getter. A group of about 20 people, polite and not causing any trouble, singing Christmas carols and walking through and around the Farmers' Market. I feel for them as individuals, but I believe they're wasting their time. Their union-represented bottom-line labor cost compared with the alternative is simply too high.

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Posted by guest
a resident of Danville
on Dec 17, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Castlewood offered generous medical coverage in the past, including full coverage for part time workers and their family. With rising medical coverage new contract offer required contribution for family coverage. Name one business that offers part time workers full primary and family coverage for non specialized labor.

To those who believe Castlewood to be insulated and uncaring, the members recently raised close to 100K for a worker fighting cancer.

Like this comment
Posted by Go away !
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Have they no shame to stoop so low. Using Christmas for pity.
Go away. Sadly, I did hear a local catholic group was soliciting help for this union group. THAT ANGERS me too !! Why don't hey quietly do their donations, if so inclined, but not in our face !

Like this comment
Posted by WLP
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Dec 18, 2011 at 9:52 am

Council members in support of this Union for votes, had better look at what the City is paying it's own workers at Callippe vs what the union was offered by Castlewood...there is nothing worst than having politicians running our City, who really are only concerned with their "seat" and not holding to morals and ethics! and have true convictions--Let's Keep Jerry Thorne, and vote the rest out!

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