(DETROIT) – Today, mechanics and groundskeepers represented by Teamsters Local 299 that maintain the championship-caliber greens and fairways of the Detroit Golf Club are calling on management to reach a new agreement with the workers after negotiations have dragged on for nearly a year. The previous contract for the seven-member unit expired in 2018.
The combined experience of the seven professional course workers approaches nearly 170 years. Their tireless work and dedication kept the course in such pristine condition that the Professional Golf Association (PGA) chose the Detroit Golf Club as the host for 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic. Despite their exceptional performance on the job, the workers have seen their pay and benefits slashed over the last 10 years.
“We are talking about seven workers who have helped this club during difficult economic times and who are just looking to maintain their bargaining unit and receive a three percent increase in hourly wages,” said Roy Gross, Recording Secretary of Teamsters Local 299. “I haven’t seen a more dedicated group of professionals who want to be sure this course is in championship condition each and every morning.”
The Rocket Mortgage Classic, sponsored by a Detroit-based company owned by Dan Gilbert, will have a total purse of $7.3 million and will be nationally televised on CBS. The tournament, which will be held at the course next week from June 25-30, marks the first time a PGA-sanctioned event has been held in Michigan since 2009.
“We are looking to get this contract finished by the end of the week,” said Kevin Moore, President of Teamsters Local 299 and General Executive Board member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. “There is no reason why the Detroit Golf Club management can’t get this unfair situation corrected by Monday. We are talking simple fairness for these dedicated and skilled workers.”