for some reason, i get an upload error when trying to post the document... but no matter... it is a 1906 Brooklyn birth record which pretty clearly states the father's occupation as "sciaboliatore." a 1908 birth record (which i do not have copied) states the same person's job as "sciopoliotore." he would have been 33/34 years old at the time.
according to my italian/english dictionary, a "sciabola" is a sabre(!), and a "scioperone" or a "scioperato" is a lazy-bones. a "sciopero" is a strike (i.e. labor strike).
before leaving sicily in 1903, this person was a peasant farmer, and in later years (1910 and after) worked as a railroad laborer. i do know that he was not a skilled person (like a stone-cutter or sculptor). there were barbers in the family, but that's about it.
any other thoughts? i was hoping someone here would have run across this term before.
He could also have been a builder of fishing boats. In the Sicilian dialect, Sciabbica. The Zingarelli dictionary says: Row boat for fishing with a net, which is also called sciabbica. Or a fisherman who used these nets for casting on this type of boat.