The IBEW now represented Physical workers system-wide at PG&E, as well as Clerical workers in most PG&E divisions. But in three divisions Clerical workers were represented by the UWUA, which petitioned the NLRB in 1951 for a new system-wide election at PG&E.
A woman working in the UWUA office discovered that the UWUA was using phony signatures on authorization cards in its petition for the new election. She shared this information with Ron Weakley in the summer of 1951 in a clandestine meeting in a remote parking lot near Martinez.
Weakley was ecstatic. With evidence of fraudulent behavior, the IBEW could ask the NLRB to halt the election and be rid of the UWUA. But the International decided to let the election proceed. With probable encouragement from PG&E, a group of professional and technical employees seized the opportunity to petition for a separate election, which they won on May 13, 1952. They would later be known as Engineers and Scientists of California.
But it was only a small blemish on Weakley’s remarkable achievement. On March 19, 1952 PG&E Physical employees voted for the IBEW over the UWUA, 5072-3158. That same day, IBEW won a plurality in the Clerical election, and in the subsequent run off soundly defeated the UWUA 1327-436.
A half-century after IBEW Local 151 took the first step toward creating unity among utility workers, IBEW Local 1245 had finally finished the job. There were plenty of challenges ahead from plenty of bosses, but from now on, utility workers were going to face those challenges together.