Ratted Out: IBEW Incurs Wrath of Sheet Metal Workers’ Union For Crossing Picket Line


Rat -4real

San Francisco is generally known as a “union town,” where union brothers and sisters share in their gains and losses…together. Where the union term ‘solidarity’ still means sticking together.

It appears, though, that times, they are a changin’ as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has gone and done the unthinkable—crossed a fellow union’s picket line.

via the San Francisco Examiner:

I’ve never seen anything like it in 40 years,” said Bruce Word, president of the Western States Council of Sheet Metal Workers.

Trayer, a family-owned business that’s been in San Francisco for decades, builds medium-voltage electrical switchgear used by utility companies including PG&E and San Diego Gas & Electric.

The company employs a few dozen workers from both the sheet-metal union and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245 for “good, middle-class jobs” that pay between $20 and $35 an hour, according to Rick Werner, business agent for the local Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The sheet-metal workers have been without a contract since July 2013 and went on strikea work stoppage sanctioned and signed off on by the politically influential San Francisco Labor Council — last month.

But IBEW 1245 is not on strike and has a contract in place. The workers who crossed the line to go to work Friday are from the IBEW.

That was the affront that earned them their name scrawled on a sign affixed to the rat. Derisive shouts and hollers from the men and women on strike followed the IBEW workers, as well as the 20 or so nonunion workers hired from out of state to cover the sheet-metal positions as they crossed the picket line to go to work, all under the watchful eye of police and private security at the gate. [Emphasis added.]

So, it would appear that, as long as the IBEW is getting its ‘fair share,’ the IBEW will work side-by-side with so-called ‘scabs’ while the Sheet Metal Workers can go without.

So much for the saying “An injury to one is an injury to all.”


  1. I apologize I am an IBEW Journeyman Inside Wireman the IBEW members that crossed the picket line are some wormy pieces of shit and should be ashamed of themselves for stabbing fellow brothers and sisters of the labor movement in the back we should never do things that undermine our fellow brothers and sisters in the struggle for better work conditions and contracts

    • I’m PFLU#211 HOUSTON, TX & that’s just wrong. I grew up in a union city & we are some of the last. We’rea ddying breed & if we don’t stick together we have nothing. I’m actually from Texas City, Tx. We many friends & family members on strike now.
      All I can say is that you’re a ratty ass worm if you’ll cross a picket line. This guys should have charges filed on them & sit on the bench for 6 months… RAT BASTARDS!!!

  2. Laborer local 310 from Cleveland…. Time for the sheet metal union to take names and kick ass…. This country is being taken apart little at a time against the unions.. We need to stand together and stand tall

  3. Divided we stand United we Fall, I think I got that backwards . We keep blaming political and corporate America and yet We keep doing it to ourselves, when one trade is on strike we all are, that’s the problem today everyone wants to claim brotherhood till it affects their pocket then its all about me….Find out who they are, bring charges and post their name for all to see SCUMBAGS
    John Canning
    IBEW 102

  4. Come on up to Rochester, NY and watch the Sheet Metal workers pull wire and run conduit. Claiming it their work. That’s been going on for 20 plus years now. Two wrongs do not make a right but one should take care of their own house before calling out others. I am in no means saying what the brothers are doing is right, but fix your mistakes and people might stand by your side in all matters.

  5. Surprisingly, this article is missing the information of whether the IBEW contract has a no sympathy strike clause, which would put the hard working IBEW members out of a job if they were to participate.

  6. I am one of the IBEW 1245 members crossing the Sheet Metal Unions picket line. Thank You Ivan, the fact is we are under contract and we do have a no strike clause. Therefore, if we dont cross the line, we dont have job. I have been working with alot of these guys for over ten years and I consider them to be good friends. I am a supporter of the labor movement and I don’t like crossing the line, but we signed a contract. I am not a scab or a rat, just a guy trying to work and feed his kids.

      • I dont know. If i could honor their line, i would. The products we make there are very specialized, so i can’t just go out and find a simalar job.

      • Why was my comment deleted?
        Once again I will say Ivan Job is correct. Caveman you do not have to explain yourself. Brothers & Sisters this site is ANTI union and a propaganda machine for the enemies of the labor movement. I suggest you do all that you can to make them look like the scum they are. The reason the USMW are saying something is because they are trying to get support from others. Caveman do not let this site make you question your actions. The IBEW sympathizes with the sheet metal workers but cannot risk being brought up on charges for breaking a contract or illegal striking.
        Jon Berenson
        IBEW Local 3

        • Your two comments were in a spam file that is regularly filled with computer spam and, therefore, purged. I just happened to see these two as the most recent purge was yesterday.

  7. 1245 is not a San Francisco Local. It is a Northern California local of mostly linemen and helpers. The San Francisco Local is Local 6.

    Sorry brother from 1245. Cross a picket line and you are a scab. No strike clause or not. Labor movement moves because we are willing to take risks and take a stand. Without our willingness to stand together, none of our kids will eat.

    United we stand, divided we starve.

  8. I am a San Francisco local 6, IBEW electrician. I know for a fact that no member of my local crossed this line. These guys from 1245 are not real inside wiremen and do not adhere to the same set of principles that we do. I believe they are out of Vacaville and what they did as guests here is shameful. This article was written in haste and the author should have gathered more facts before slandering the integrity of our good union members here in S.F.

    • Caveman, I understand that you have to make a living, but you should not be using the cloak of the IBEW to worm your way into a SF job especially when you cross a sanctioned picket line.

  9. They aren’t my brothers or sisters. Looks like the brothers and sisters who know these people need to step up and “explain” how we don’t cross a picket line of a union that is on strike. EVER
    Filthy rats

  10. IBEW is working under the last contract Trayer will ever negotiate with them. “Divide and Conquer”, it’s an age old concept and this is proof positive it still works. When Trayer does the same to you remember when you have nobody to stand with you that you filled in all the pieces of the puzzle Trayer needed. They gave you just the right amount of rope, and you hung yourselves with it.

  11. As a former President of NTEU Chapter 32 in Denver, I won’t cross a Picket line unless a person or animal is in harms way. Never been called a ‘Scab’. Won’t tolerate it now.

  12. Randy Rose … Jay Conner. IBEW. SCABS Crossed picket line every day Longshore workers where locked out of united grain corp. in Vancouver Washington USA. For a year and a half SCABS……. UNION SCABS. So this does not surprise me at all that they do it now…and every time …. A TRUE UNION WORKER would not cross any picket line period

  13. That article is misleading. IBEW 1245 is out of Vacaville. That is not in San Francisco. Local 6 is the SF IBEW and we DO NOT cross picket lines.

  14. Shall I explain how it works. No strike clause means we as Ibew won’t strike per our contract, it goes to mediation. If another trade strikes and is recognized as an official strike by their union, we, as Ibew Union workers shall honor the picket line and not cross.

  15. Mike O’Brien 424 IBEW Edmonton Alberta Canada , very ashamed of these scabs crossing a picket line , very shameful , very disgusted

  16. Not making excuses but making a point.People that work in a manufacturing setting are a different breed. Unlike us Journeyman Wireman they are normally owned and operated by their company. The question has to be asked, Would the SMW have honored an IBEW picket?

  17. This hits me two times. My father, God rest his soul, was a sheet metal worker all his life, union. My husband is ibew local 47. Unions are supposed to stick together, but there are a lot of brother fuckers out there. Sad, very sad


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