Why does a labor union oppose the takeover of PG&E?

Our union opposes spending billions of dollars to take over PG&E because it will hurt our workers and San Francisco residents.

Our union, IBEW 1245 (the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) represents most of the union workers at PG&E along with 23 other California public electric utilities. We do not at all oppose public ownership in principle. We oppose the City of San Francisco spending billions of dollars to take over PG&E for a number of reasons.

First, that $6 billion should go toward higher priorities – like addressing homelessness, improving transportation and building affordable housing. Our members live and work here too – and we all deserve a well-run city. This takeover will make San Francisco worse, not better.

Second, the City of San Francisco and particularly the city’s Public Utility Commission have a long history of playing politics with their own power agency and they are not always very respectful of the role of unions in making sure workers are protected.

Third, our union was founded nearly a century ago to protect the safety of our workers and the public. This can be a very dangerous job – and we take safety very seriously. We just don’t trust the people who can’t make the buses run on time, can’t clean the streets, can’t permit or build enough housing and can’t do other jobs to always pay attention to what we do and make sure we have the tools and support to do it safely.