Bay Guardian: Country Club workers plan picket after step towards victory

Workers at Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton, represented by UNITE HERE Local 2850, received a favorable decision from Administrative Law Judge Clifford Anderson of the National Labor Relations Board on Monday. He found that the club owes all 61 union workers two years of back pay– and their jobs back.

“For the workers it feels like a relief to be believed in some way,” said Local 2850 organizer Sarah Norr. “The workers have been saying for two years that Castlewood was not really trying to reach a compromise.”

The food service workers and janitors of Local 2850 at Castlewood haven’t worked in two years. Instead, they picket the club and march. But they’re not on strike– they would love to go back to work. They’re on lockout.

In Feb. 2010, the club tried to hike up their health care costs, significantly increase the hours per week that would be considered full-time, and cut pay. After heated negotiations, the club refused to allow workers to return to their jobs and hired non-union replacements. Read the full article.

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.