By JP Massar
Workers locked out of the Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton, California since February 25th, 2010 will be able to return to their jobs — and health care coverage — on October 16th.
After a judge ruled that Castlewood Country Club workers were illegally locked out for more than two years, the employees will be allowed to return Oct. 16.
A month ago a federal judge, finding that Castlewood Country Club had engaged in unfair labor practices and failure to negotiate in good faith, ordered the Castlewood workers reinstated with back pay, giving Castlewood management a month to appeal. Choosing not to appeal, management asked for and was granted additional time to negotiate a settlement with the workers and UNITE HERE, local 2850, the union that represents them. This is the first fruit of that negotiation.
This step, having the lockout end and returning the workers to their jobs under the terms of their old contract, is just the beginning, but it is incredibly important. It means that the worst of it is finally over for dozens of workers who have kept up the struggle for more than two and a half years. From UNITE HERE’s press release:
“Ive 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.”
A new contract, and the exact terms of how much back pay will be provided and to whom, are still to be negotiated.