The late 1970s became a season of strikes when IBEW 1245 members walked off the job at the City of Gridley, Sacramento Regional Transit, Pacific Tree, Monterey Peninsula Cable TV, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.
The SMUD strike, the largest in Local 1245’s history, was prompted by management’s inadequate wage proposals during a time of high inflation. On the second day of the strike, in early 1980, a dozen IBEW 1245 members were arrested while walking picket at SMUD’s Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant. A court injunction soon forced the strikers back to work. Members ratified a new two-year agreement after management sweetened its wage offer.
When City of Gridley employees walked off the job on September 22, 1978 the City revoked its recognition of the union and fired all 18 strikers. IBEW 1245 sued. The employees were rehired before the legal case was resolved, but the California Supreme Court ruled in 1983 that the City’s decision to withdraw recognition from the union during the strike was a violation of the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act.
Members of IBEW 1245 at Pacific Tree Expert Co. went on strike on May 11, 1977 rather than accept drastic concessions regarding leave. Management finally agreed to raise wages 14.5%, more than double the rate of inflation at that time, but some members remained unhappy with changes to the vacation, sick leave and holiday sections of the agreement.
Members walked off the job at Sacramento Regional Transit on April 25, 1979 after management sought big concessions. All of management’s take-away proposals came off the table during state mediation. Members ratified a new three-year agreement.
Three dozen members at Monterey Peninsula TV Cable walked out on December 13, 1979 to protest sub-standard wages. After two months off the job, members ratified a pact that provided substantial gains in wages and benefits.