by Rachel Swan
After two years of scuffling, an administrative law judge has finally deemed the Castlewood Country Club lockout illegal. Judge Clifford Anderson of the National Labor Relations Board maintained that the tony Pleasanton club, which came to loggerheads with workers in 2010 amid a dispute over health care, no longer showed any intent of bargaining to reach an agreement.
“I find that that the Club had abandoned its earlier good faith bargaining for a new contract," Anderson wrote in his August 17 opinion, tracing the date of Castlewood's malfeasance to August 10, 2010 — the day Castlewood held its first bargaining session with representatives of UNITE HERE Local 2850, the labor union representing the club's locked out staff. During that session, Castlewood's lawyer, Rob Huelting, was quoted arguing that the country club members "get superior service now," a statement he later tried to redact, as we reported in the Express. That, Anderson said, was evidence enough of a brewing "animus" toward both the union and the locked out employees. It also suggested that Castlewood wanted to change the contract in ways that had nothing to do with health care, by adding provisions that would allow it to fire the old workers and replace them with a new, non-unionized, potentially cheaper labor force.here.