Workers strike at private downtown club over wage freeze
About 150 California Club employees were planning to join in the strike.
The California Club, founded in 1887, is one of the bastions of Los Angeles' old-school elite. Its members over the years have included such powerbrokers as Gaylord Wilshire, William Mulholland, Norman Chandler and Richard J. Riordan.
The club became a magnet for controversy in the 1980s over its membership policies, which excluded women and minorities until then, and it has struggled financially in more recent years.
In 2009, the most recent year for which financial statements were available, the club reported a $1.4-million net loss.
Shelton said the workers were upset by the proposal of another freeze, especially because the club spent a substantial amount of money on renovations last year.
"They look and see what the members are making," she said. "For the rich, the economy is just fine."
General Manager Peter Schaub said the club has continued to struggle in the stagnant economy, although he did not give numbers.
"The economy obviously has had a negative effect on most businesses, and we're no different," he said.
Schaub said the negotiations are ongoing and "we hope that we can get back to the table with both sides" to reach a satisfactory conclusion.
-- Abby Sewell
Photo: A 1981 file photo of the California Club building on Flower Street. Credit: Bruce Boehner