San Ramon Express: NLRB law judge finds Castlewood club wrong in locking out workers

Administrative Law Judge Clifford Anderson of the National Labor Relations Board has found that Castlewood Country Club has maintained an illegal lockout since August 10, 2010.

In a written opinion issued Aug. 17, he recommended that the NLRB order Castlewood to reinstate the locked-out workers and pay them two years of back wages and benefits.

Back pay, according to estimates, could total more than $3 million in wages and benefits.

Judge Anderson gave Castlewood 28 days from the time of his finding to either accept the terms and pay the workers, or move forward with an appeal.

“We’ve been saying for two years that Castlewood wasn’t giving us a fair chance to get our jobs back,” said locked-out Castlewood cook Carlos Mejia. “Now Judge Anderson is saying the same thing.”

“I hope this will be a wake-up call to the golfers that they need to stop stalling and put us back to work,” he added. Read the full article.

Daily Kos: Still No Health Care. Still No Job. But 907 Days Later, One Vindicating Court Decision.

Nine hundred and four days into a lockout of kitchen workers by the Castlewood Country Club (“land of the rich, home of the selfish”), Adminstrative Law Judge Clifford Anderson handed down a decision that the workers at Castlewood had amazing faith was coming. He found that

Castlewood had maintained an unlawful lockout for two years.
Castlewood had bargained in bad faith.
Castlewood’s attorney was not credible
Castlewood maintained ‘animus’ towards its locked out workers.
Castlewood management violated numerous other labor laws.

And his decision orders the club to reinstate the workers and give them back pay and benefits. Read the full article.

Tri-Valley Times: Labor board sides with Castlewood workers

PLEASANTON — Union members could receive millions in back wages and benefits after an administrative law judge found that Castlewood Country Club has maintained an illegal lockout for more than two years.

Judge Clifford Anderson of the National Labor Review Board, has recommended the labor board order Castlewood to reinstate all locked-out workers and pay them up to roughly $3.4 million in two years of back wages and benefits.

Anderson’s finding was released Friday.

The lockout at the plush country club nestled in the Pleasanton hills began Aug. 10, 2010.

Union members are ecstatic about the recommendation, however they say they will wait to fully celebrate until after Castlewood responds to the recommendation. Read the full article.

In These Times: Workers Try to Organize Airport Subway, Get Fired

OAKLAND, CA—This city is supposed to be a union town, but out at the airport, workers say they’re getting fired for trying to join one. The airport is administered by the Oakland Port Commission, whose members, appointed by the mayor, are mostly viewed as progressives. The commission has passed a living wage ordinance that not only sets a level much higher than state or national minimum wage laws, but also requires companies who rent space to respect the labor rights of their workers.

One of the workers fired recently is Hakima Arhab, who says she lost her job at the Subway concession after she complained about violations of the ordinance, and because she and her coworkers are trying to join UNITE HERE Local 2850.

Arhab told her story to Working In These Times:

I worked at Subway for a year and a half. When I got the job there I thought that I would have a better life. It should be a good job. I thought I’d have more money, and be able to afford a few more things for myself, and be able to send money to my home country, because I have family there. When I started at the airport I was getting $12.82 an hour, and then it went up to $13.05. Read the full article.

KPFA: Fired Oakland Airport Workers Speak Out

The union seeking to represent workers at concession stands at the Oakland International Airport says the private companies running those concessions are skirting laws meant to protect labor rights. The airport operates under the control of the Port of Oakland, a quasi-public agency. The Port has a Living Wage law in effect that guarantees all workers at the airport—even those working for private companies renting space there—decent pay, and 12 sick days per year. Those private companies are also, under their lease agreements, supposed to keep –quote–“labor peace”. But workers who’ve been trying to unionize some of those concessions say they haven’t found it very peaceful. We spoke to one of them and then called the Port of Oakland to get a response. Listen to the complete piece here.

East Bay Express: Workers Allege Violations at Oakland Airport

The port and other governmental agencies are actively investigating several airport concessionaires for alleged wage, overtime, anti-union violations.

by Rachel Swan

Oakland’s 2002 living wage ordinance had honorable intentions: to provide family-sustaining jobs at the city’s port. Originally it applied only to businesses with twenty or more employees, but the port amended it in 2006 to cover a much broader swath of the maritime and aviation industry — including all businesses run by Oakland Airport’s primary contractor, HMSHost, and any subcontractor that signed a lease after 2006, regardless of size. The idea was not only to make sure a voter-approved ordinance had teeth, but also to ensure that port businesses hewed to the spirit of the law, and not just the letter.

Unfortunately, some businesses don’t share that vision: The operator of a See’s Candies franchise still refuses to abide by the living wage ordinance, citing a loophole that she says grandfathers her in. There is also evidence that a Subway franchise is violating overtime laws by assigning employees to work consecutive shifts at the airport sandwich shop and at a nearby gas station it owns, with no overtime pay. As of two weeks ago, Subway had also fired two of its workers, allegedly for union activity.

In fact, workers have filed a whole litany of complaints against the eight sublessee concessionaires at Oakland International Airport, some of which they expressed during a spirited public comment session at the July 26 Port Commission meeting. Complaints filed with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement accuse Subway of stiffing workers on overtime and ten-minute breaks, and of circumventing overtime laws by having employees clock in at different Subway locations — i.e., at Oakland Airport and the one on Washington Avenue, which are both owned by Navdeep and Gurinder Grewal. The Grewals referred all questions to their attorney, Michael Foster, who was unavailable for comment. Read the full article.