photo: WWJ/Charlie Langton

Workers At Detroit Golf Club Threaten To Strike At Rocket Mortgage Classic

June 25, 2019 - 9:09 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - A picket line could greet golf fans if a new labor agreement can't be reached before the Rocket Mortgage Classic tees off Thursday.

Kevin Moore is President of Teamsters Local 299 who represents the groundskeepers and mechanics at the Detroit Golf Club. He says after a year without a contract, a 10-year wage freeze and concessions during hard times, employees are asking for an increase of 45-cents an hour. 

"We're not asking for the world. We're just asking for them to be treated fairly since they sacrificed when the club was in hardship," he said. 

Moore says management balked at their demands for a three-percent raise, a reduction in health care costs and job security before negotiations stopped completely earlier this month. 

"He's never countered our offer, he's never talked about our offer, he takes a $500 signing bonus which does nothing for a person's paycheck because you pay taxes, state taxes and the city of Detroit taxes, so you get a $200 check for five years? I don't think that's right or fair," said Moore. 

If management doesn't come with a better deal before the PGA event tees off this weekend, Moore says workers could strike. 

"We don't want to have to do this. They're the ones forcing this. And we're going to do everything we can to protect these workers," he said. 

Andy Glassberg, president of Detroit Golf Club, said employees were offered a deal that was "more than fair," but they refused it. 

"We offered our employees a new contract with an attractive wage and benefits package, which in total is more than 4% higher per year than their current contract, a 17% increase over the life of the contract," Glassberg said in a statement. "We are ready to reach a resolution with the union, as we have since the contract expired roughly one year ago. Unfortunately, the union canceled bargaining sessions, delayed the negotiating process, and chose this historic event to make its statement."

Detroit Golf Club has a five-year contract with Dan Gilbert's Rocket Mortgage to host the PGA event.