Found a solution!!
Windows Client resolution changes work by calling
<ProgramDir>\VMware\VMware Tools\VMwareResolutionSet.exe. After I renamed that file, bingo no more resolution changes. Obviously this works until the next VMware tools update only, but it does the job for us.
Since it is not easy to find, here is the reference for VMwareResolutionSet.exe from a random forum thread at https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2058577
Run VMwareResolutionSet.exe to force Windows to set your desired resolution.
VMwareResolutionSet.exe Variable1 Variable2 , Variable3 Variable4 Variable5 Variable6
Variable 1 is the index of the primary monitor (Default = 0).
Variable 2 is the number of total monitors (Default = 1).
Variable 3 is the starting X position of monitor 0 (Default = 0).
Variable 4 is the starting Y position of monitor 0 (Default = 0).
Variable 5 is the width (X) of monitor 0 in pixels.
Variable 6 is the width (Y) of monitor 0 in pixels.
For Example, to set the virtual machine display resolution to 3280 x 2048:
VMwareResolutionSet.exe 0 1 , 0 0 3280 2048
The spaces around the comma seem to be significant.