The UAW's $27 Million Country Club
By: Matt Cover
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The United Autoworkers Union, which had a total net worth of $1.2 billion in 2007, owns a $27 million resort and conference center that features a $6 million upscale golf course, according to financial statements on file with the U.S. Department of Labor.
The retreat, called the Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center, is located on Black Lake in Onaway, Michigan. The union-owned retreat includes the Black Lake Golf Club, valued at $6 million according to the financial statement.
The resort features conference centers, classrooms, resort amenities and the golf club, which is open to union members, retirees and their guests, as well as the public, on a space-available basis.
Accommodations at the resort cost $92 a night for a single room and $106 a night for a double. Full-service condos are available costing $180 for a two-bedroom and $275 for a three-bedroom unit.
UAW members receive a slight discount on accommodations, paying $74 a night for a single, $87 a night for a double. Members can rent a two-bedroom condo for $150/night and a three-bedroom condo for $225/night.
The Education Center includes lakeside rooms, hotel-style rooms, as well as a fully-equipped campground, boat ramp and dock. It also has an Olympic-sized swimming pool, two full-length basketball courts, and a sauna.
The 1,000 acre golf club is a first-class, 1,000 acre, environmentally conscious course designed by Rees Jones, son of famed golf course designer Robert Trent Jones, the same designer behind PGA-level courses Pinehurst, Torrey Pines, and LPGA International.
“There is nothing artificial or contrived at Black Lake,” Jones is quoted as saying on the club’s Web site.
The union-owned golf resort was voted the Number 2 Best New Upscale Course by Golf Digest when it opened in 2000 and is currently ranked 35th on the list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.
Lifetime and annual memberships are available only for union members or retirees, while limited memberships are available to the public starting at $1,200 per year.
President Bush announced an emergency plan to bail out struggling U.S. automakers Friday, including in the package a provision that mandates that union wages be brought in line with wages paid by non-union automakers.
UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said that the wage restrictions included in the $17.4 billion auto bailout were unfair and singled out workers, pledging to lobby the Obama administration to have them removed.
The bailout was negotiated between the White House, Treasury, UAW and the automakers.
“While we appreciate that President Bush has taken the emergency action needed to help America's auto companies weather the current financial crisis, we are disappointed that he has added unfair conditions singling out workers,” Gettelfinger said in a statement.
“We will work with the Obama administration and the new Congress to ensure that these unfair conditions are removed."
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