BIG NEWS from Castlewood!

Brothers and sisters,

On February 25, 2010, Castlewood Country Club workers were locked out. On October 16, 2012 – two years, seven months, and 21 days later – they will return to work.

We want to thank everyone who stood by the workers throughout a long, hard campaign – who marched across Pleasanton, brought Mother’s Day flowers for hunger strikers, donated to the hardship fund, spent 12 hours in Santa Rita, and so much more. Without your support, we could never have achieved this victory.

And workers still need your support today. Although the lockout is ending, the fight for justice at Castlewood continues. We have not (yet!) reached an agreement on a new contract or on back wages for locked-out workers.

For now, workers will go back under the terms of their old contract, which provides strong seniority protections and affordable family health care. (See below for more detail on the status of the legal case and the negotiations.) The boycott of Castlewood will stay in effect until a full settlement is reached.

“I’ve been praying for this day to arrive,” said Castlewood janitor Maria Munoz. “I feel really happy now, and thankful to all the people and organizations and churches and bands who have come out to support us. And most of all thankful for my co-workers, who were always out there looking out for each other – I feel lucky that they’ve become like family to me.”

The end of the lockout is a tremendous step forward for this campaign and a historic victory for all working people. We invite you to celebrate with us – and to show Castlewood that we’ll stand with the workers in this new phase of their struggle.

Join us for coffee and donuts at 6:15 am on Tuesday, October 16 at Castlewood, and show the workers some love on their way in to their first day back at work!

UNITE HERE Local 2850


On August 17, 2012, Administrative Law Judge Clifford Anderson of the National Labor Relations Board found that Castlewood had maintained an unlawful lockout for two years (see here for more detail).

In the wake of that decision, we met with locked-out workers to discuss their vision for a new contract. We also did a comprehensive survey of workers’ earnings during the lockout. Based on our findings, we estimated that Castlewood owes about $1.8 million in back wages and health care payments. (See here for more on how back wages are calculated).

We then held a series of meetings with Castlewood to discuss potential settlement. While the details of those discussions remain confidential, generally speaking we offered a fair settlement proposal that would resolve the contract negotiations and the NLRB case, cost the Club far less than $1.8 million above its contract proposal, and most importantly bring about labor peace.

So we were puzzled by Castlewood’s decision not to accept this proposal and settle the dispute entirely. However, we welcome the end of the lockout as an important step toward resolution.

Since there has been no overall settlement, Castlewood could still ask for a review of Judge Anderson’s decision from the NLRB in Washington. If the Club does this, workers will be back on the job, under the terms of a good contract, while the legal process goes forward.

We have another meeting with Castlewood scheduled for late October, and we’ll continue to negotiate toward a good contract and a fair resolution on the back wages.

In the meantime, the fight for justice at Castlewood isn’t over. Until we resolve the contract and the back wages, the boycott will continue – so we urge our friends in the community to refuse to patronize Castlewood, and to help spread the word about the ongoing boycott.

We’ll also continue to hold actions at Castlewood. We’d love to see you out on the picket line!