Jan-Anders Lindfors, chairman of the local chapter of the IF Metall union, claimed that his choice of words was usual for describing a breakaway group, reported newspaper Bleking Läns Tidning.
In his membership newsletter Lindfors also wrote that the board would act against non-members when the opportunity presented itself.
Now employees at ABB in Skåne say they feel bullied and shocked, according to BLT.
The chairman’s words were also stuck up on a noticeboard in a coffee room.
“He is abusing his position with indirect threats. People out here are very upset,” said one worker that the newspaper spoke to.
But Jan-Anders Lindfors retorted that he wrote the the words in the heat of the moment and that he wanted to protect his organisation.
“This rabble is a major irritation. They take the pay rises but they don’t join the fight,” he said to BLT.
Lindfors explained to the paper that he wanted to be clear about the consequences of not being part of the union.
“They shouldn’t think that they can do whatever they like, breaking overtime rules all that. They shouldn’t expect anything,” he said.