According to the website of , the exclusive makers of Scabby the Rat [reportedly a non-union company], the floats were originally designed for Chicago unions. Since then, “the rats have multiplied and are found thriving throughout the U.S.A.”
However, Scabby may be harder to find at rallies if one union leader gets his way. Today, Sean McGarvey, president of the 2-million-strong AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department, tweeted, “Meeting with our Presidents and state councils. Issued a call to retire the inflatable rat. It does not reflect our new value proposition.”
Cindy Harrity, a union organizer with CWA Local 1298 in Hamden, Connecticut says that her local union saved up for several years to the buy its own “Scabby,” which can range in price from anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000.
“I worked really hard to get that rat. We love our rat,” says Harrity. “It gets workers really enthusiastic at rallies.”
What ever happens to the Big Labor’s Rat, you can bet that the desire to intimidate workers into compulsory union fees and dues will continue until Right to Work is passed in every state or Congress decides to make freedom rather than compulsion the default position of the U.S. Federal labor laws.