Strike protests lawless sheet metal employer


Workers at a Vancouver sheet metal shop have been on strike since late July, bolstered by a strike support fund and solidarity from fellow union members across trades.

Workers at 360 Sheet Metal voted to join Sheet Metal Workers Local 16 in 2021, rebelling against unsafe work conditions and pay close to the state’s minimum wage. But 360, a custom ductwork fabricator, continues to oppose the union, and workers still don’t have a first union contract. On July 25, the company’s nine production workers began a strike to protest unfair labor practices. In charges being investigated by the National Labor Relations Board, Local 16 accuses 360 Sheet Metal of retaliating against pro-union workers by giving them isolating work assignments, making unilateral changes without bargaining, surveilling workers, and firing at least one union supporter. 

Strikers say last week they were notified they’re eligible for COBRA health coverage on account of their “termination.” If they were in fact terminated, that too would be a violation of federal law, which protects the right to strike and makes it unlawful to permanently replace workers when they’re on strike to protest unfair labor practices. 

360 Sheet Metal is also being investigated by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries for repeat violations of the state’s prevailing wage law, amounting to theft of tens of thousands of dollars from workers when they do custom ductwork for public works projects. It’s also been cited for occupational safety violations.

Workers have been picketing from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. five days a week, and are being joined by union supporters. Members of Ironworkers, Cement Masons, Insulators, Drywall Finishers and Laborers have walked the picket line in support, and so have Sheet Metal Local 16 members from other shops. Delivery drivers with UPS, represented by the Teamsters, have declined to cross the line.

C-TRAN bus drivers have been honking and giving thumbs up too. C-TRAN workers are represented by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 and the transit agency’s operations and maintenance division is located across the street from 360 Sheet Metal. At one point, one passing bus even displayed a message on its LED display: “Stand together as one.”

Local 16 maintains a strike fund, and members voted to authorize strike payments to the workers on the picket line. The local was also approved for strike fund assistance from the Sheet Metal international.

With its production workers on strike, 360 Sheet Metal has reassigned its office workers to try to assemble ductwork.

The next bargaining session is set for Aug. 18.



  1. I’d like to go on record about 360 sheet metal I was a union supporter there when it all started my name is Patrick Vader and I still support what my brothers are trying to accomplish


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