Pleasanton Weekly: Castlewood’s locked out union workers march in downtown Pleasanton

December 15, 2011 – 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. Read the full article.

Notice to Employees and Members

NOTICE TO EMPLOYEES AND MEMBERS

This Notice is being posted as part of a conciliation agreement between UNITE HERE, LOCAL 2850 (UNITE HERE) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Federal law requires that there be no discrimination against any employee, applicant for employment, or union member because of an individual’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, disability, age (40 and over), or genetic information with respect to hiring, promotion, firing, compensation, admission to membership, or other terms, conditions or privileges of employment or membership.

UNITE HERE supports and will comply with such federal law in all respects and will not take any action against employees because they have exercised their rights under the law.

Specifically, UNITE HERE will provide reasonable accommodation to its disabled members to the extent that such accommodation does not constitute an undue burden on itself. UNITE HERE will cooperate with employers where necessary and feasible to provide needed reasonable accommodation to its members.

This notice shall remain posted for three (3) years and shall not be defaced.

Date: 12/23/11

Signed: Wei-Ling Huber, President, UNITE HERE Local 2850

SF Chronicle: San Pablo Casino workers irked over no raises

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Casino San Pablo might be drawing all aces these days, but luck may have run out for its workers.

Cocktail waitresses, bartenders, floor walkers and other union members are locked in a contract stalemate with the tribe that owns the booming East Bay gambling hub.

At issue: the 350-member tribe earned over $100 million last year on gaming revenues, yet is refusing raises to its employees, whose average salaries are $9.50 an hour.

“It seems like they’re turning their back on us,” Isidoro Saravia-Ramos, 58, a dishwasher at the casino for 10 years, said through a translator. “We want the casino to succeed, but we as workers need to succeed, too.”

The tribe offered a contract to its 200 union workers in May that included no raises and deep cuts in health insurance and other areas. New employees, for example, would start at 2002 wages and not be eligible for health insurance for a year.

Only four union members voted yes on the contract. The tribe then petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for help moving forward, but meanwhile negotiations with Unite Here Local 2850 remain at a standstill and tensions are high. Read the full article.

San Jose Mercury News: Two dozen arrested in labor demonstration at Pleasanton’s Castlewood Country Club

mona gets arrestedJune 23, 2011

PLEASANTON — Demonstrators blocked the street near Castlewood Country Club on Thursday morning, leading to the arrest of about two dozen people demanding an end to a lockout of the club’s union service workers.

Thursday’s actions were the first acts of civil disobedience in the 16-month lockout, coming at the start of the club’s four-day Men’s Invitational golf tournament, one of the Castlewood’s biggest annual member events.

Since the lockout began, demonstrations have been held almost daily. Leaders of Unite Here Hospitality Workers Union Local 2850, which covers about 60 of the club’s cooks, servers, dishwashers and other hospitality workers, decided to ramp up the pressure on club officials with Thursday’s protest.

“If we don’t get no justice, you don’t get no peace,” was one of the chants coming Thursday from a crowd of more than 150 demonstrators, who carried signs and marched.

About 20 locked-out workers were in the crowd, along with family, friends, religious groups and members of other unions, union leaders said. Read the full article.

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

Concord hotel workers keep protesting health care costs, imposed 21 months ago

For the past 21 months, the workers at the Concord Holiday Inn have been calling for a boycott of their own hotel. At the end of the month, it will become a Red Lion Hotel — but their calls for a boycott haven’t changed.

Workers remain upset about management’s July 2009 imposition of a contract that raised family health care costs by about $700 per month. When housekeepers earn around $10 per hour, that $700 is an impossibly steep cost, union officials say.

In 2009, a lawyer for the company’s owners said the hotel had to change the workers’ contract. It could not afford to keep spending $1,300 per month on health care for some workers — more than $15 per hour just in health care expenses for some employees.

Workers regularly rally in front of the hotel to make their case. Earlier this month, they brought along an 8-foot-tall Grinch puppet as a prop.

None of the union workers at the hotel can afford to have family medical coverage any more, said Lian Alan, a spokesman for UNITE HERE Local 2850, the workers’ union.

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