Monday promises to be a very interesting day on golf courses all over the country, if calls for a May 1 boycott of work, school and purchases in support of immigrant rights are heeded by an overwhelming percentage of America's Hispanic work force. Industries that employ a large number of Hispanic workers, like meat packing and, yes, golf courses, are obviously especially vulnerable to such a walkout. As this story in Saturday's Kansas City Star describes, some are attempting to circumvent the boycott by shelving operations on Monday to allow employees to take part in rallies that are expected to take place all over the country.
Unfortunately for most golf courses, shutting down for a day isn't an option, so superintendents have real reason for concern. In recent weeks on GCSAA's Talking It Over forum, two separate strings on the boycott popped up, one of which reached a total of 36 posts, as superintendents traded stories and speculation on the boycott and how it might affect operations.
For the most part, superintendents seem to be taking a proactive approach to the boycott. Taken strictly from the posts in those two strings, they're discussing the boycott with their Hispanic crew members -- some have indicated they will participate, others will not. At some courses, employees wishing to participate will be allowed to by using accrued vacation or sick days; others have been instructed that participation will be allowed only as an unpaid day, with no vacation or sick time being honored. For those still looking for tips on how to handle this situation from a management perspective, another story in today's Star (OK, it's my hometown paper. I'm a little biased) offered some guidance.
We're extremely interested in how this boycott impacts our readers and GCSAA members. If your operations are affected by Monday's activities, we'd love to hear about them and tell your story on this blog and also in the pages of GCM. You can contact either myself or Seth Jones at these e-mail addresses.