Castlewood Workers to March on Anniversary of Lockout

Workers, allies, political leaders celebrate year of courageous struggle for justice at elite Pleasanton country club on February 26, 2011, 11:15 am.

Since February 25th, 2010, Castlewood has maintained a lockout of its 61 food service and janitorial workers, pressuring them to give up job security protections and pay about 40% of their wages for family health insurance. Instead of giving in, the workers have waged an extraordinary yearlong struggle to return to work and protect their families’ health care, garnering broad support from Pleasanton and East Bay political leaders, congregations, unions, and community organizations.

“I’ve worked hard to serve Club members for 10 years,” said Castlewood cook Angel Melendez. “I never imagined they would throw me out in the street for a year, just because I want to be able to take my son to the doctor when he gets sick. But I also never imagined how strong and united my co-workers and I would become through this struggle, or how much the whole community would stand behind us. This is a day of celebration because we have found the courage to fight for as long as it takes to protect our families.”

“It’s a lot like what is happening in my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin,” said Wei-Ling Huber, president of UNITE HERE Local 2850, which represents the locked-out workers. “Like Governor Walker, Castlewood is using the budget as an excuse, but it’s never been about the money. They’ve spent many times more than the difference between our proposals on anti-union consultants, security guards and negotiators. We offered a common-sense compromise that would save them 30% of their health care costs, and they rejected it. They’ve made proposals that weaken the union and take away the workers’ job security. What they’re really fighting is very idea of the workers having the right to bargain collectively. Workers in Wisconsin are resisting, and inspiring others to stand with them – just like the Castlewood workers have.”

Contact Sarah Norr, 510-502-5344 for more information