Castlewood Country Club: Open Your Doors!

This Christmas, Locked-Out Workers seek Refuge at the “Inn”

Where: Castlewood Country Club, start at Valley Golf Course (Foothill and Castlewood Dr)
When: Saturday December 18, 2010 at 4:30pm
What: Workers are staging a posada, candlelight procession through Castlewood Country Club.  A posada is a traditional Mexican procession that reenacts the historical scene of Mary and Joseph seeking and being refused shelter at the Inn.

Just as Mary and Joseph were turned away from the Inn, Castlewood Country Club has closed its doors to its workers.  Those workers, like Maria Munoz a 5 year janitor at the Club will be asking Castlewood to open their doors in the spirit of compassion.  “It’s Christmas, “Says Maria Munoz.  “This is supposed to be a time for love, light and compassion.  I hope we aren’t turned away but I expect that we will. When the Messiah comes, he brings hope with him”

“In a season that is supposed to be one of giving, a season of getting ready for the coming of Jesus, frankly, I think the best gift that Castlewood can give to the workers and to the community is to end the lock out and give the workers a fair contract.” Says Brian Ballantine of the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice.

The Union, Unite Here Local 2850 estimates that its contract proposal would actually save the Club money while providing affordable family benefits to the Workers.  Contrasting the Club’s proposal to deprive the workers ‘ children with affordable healthcare might save the Club a maximum of $5,000/month.   “I’m shocked that this dispute has gone on from February till Christmas, with no end in sight over just $5,000.

Background: The lockout began on February 25, 2010 when management turned employees away when they reported to work. Negotiations stalled when the Club insisted that their employees contribute $739 per month toward their family health care costs, nearly 40% of the average take-home pay of the locked out employees

Workers offered to increase their share of health costs from 0 to $225 per month, restrict health benefits to full-time employees, and accept a wage freeze in the first year and very low raises in later years.
These concessions would have more than offset the costs of retaining family medical benefits.

EDD ruled that the lockout is an offensive action on the part of the Club and the locked out workers have been receiving unemployment benefits.  Workers have also received donations to help them keep a roof over their heads.

Although workers and union representatives have met regularly with Club negotiators, the Club’s proposals have only moved backwards over the course of the lockout. On August 30th, the National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel issued a complaint against Castlewood Country Club for “interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees” and “failing and refusing to bargaining [sic] collectively and in good faith.”