By the fall of 1907, IBEW Local 151 was in bad shape. It had been on the losing end of the United Railroads and PT&T strikes. It had been de-chartered by its parent union. Its treasury had been seized. But, incredibly, Local 151 was good for one more fight as the autumn of 1907 approached: a strike against the City Electric Co. of San Francisco, headed by S. L. Naphtaly.
Naphtaly adhered to the eight-hour day in San Francisco, but workers at his other utility properties in Truckee, Stockton, Sacramento, and Virginia City worked longer hours. In Reno, his workers put in 12 hours a day.
The Pacific District Council moved toward calling a strike in the fall of 1907 at all of Naphtaly’s companies. Local 151 protested that it was a “dirty shame” to strike City Electric in San Francisco because it was the one location where Naphtaly had implemented the eight-hour day. It was a moment rich with irony. IBEW had just de-chartered Local 151 for engaging in sympathy strikes at PT&T and United Railroads, but now the IBEW was asking Local 151 to engage in a sympathy strike against Naphtaly.
Solidarity ran deep at Local 151. Its members joined the strike against Naphtaly and stayed out until he agreed to all of the wage and hour conditions demanded by the Pacific District Council, including the eight-hour day for Reno linemen.