The following statement was issued by Will Lehman, a rank-and-file Mack Trucks workers running for UAW president. The WSWS has endorsed Lehman’s campaign. For more information, visit WillforUAWPresident.org.
On Sunday, September 11, at 2 p.m. Eastern, Lehman will be hosting a live Q&A on Zoom. Learn more and register here.
Below is the text of the statement.
Dear brothers and sisters,
As candidate for president of the United Auto Workers union, I strongly denounce the UAW executives for isolating the strike by 1,000 CNH workers in Wisconsin and Iowa. I call for the mobilization of the UAW membership in defense of the strike, and full strike pay for the strikers.
CNH workers have been fighting against the company for four months, striking for higher wages, cost-of-living adjustments, an elimination of tiers, and other just demands. They are not just fighting for themselves, they are fighting for the entire working class. The company is using scabs, and cut off workers’ health insurance to protect its massive profits as they enrich their shareholders.
But the UAW is sabotaging the strike and is hoping to push through terms favorable to the corporation. The UAW has hardly lifted a finger to help the strikers or to inform the rest of the membership about their struggle. There is no mention of the CNH strike on the front page of its website, and I haven’t received any information or emails about their struggle from the International or from my local.
The UAW is stringing workers out on just $400 a week in strike pay. The UAW has over $1 billion in assets, and its leadership just voted to give themselves raises at the UAW convention in Detroit. The same officials who have forced us to work under sellout contracts are deliberately trying to starve out CNH workers on the picket line in order to wear down their resistance.
This is how the UAW has functioned for decades, and it must end now! I call for strike pay to be raised to workers’ full income. The strike fund was created with our hard-earned dues, and that money must be used to support our struggles. The strike fund is supposed to protect us, not the other way around. The only ones opposed to raising strike pay are the UAW bureaucrats who live like parasites off our labor.
I am running as a candidate for UAW International president to put an end to the UAW’s strategy of defeat. We must build a mass movement of rank-and-file workers to sweep away this unaccountable bureaucracy and place power back in the hands of the workers, where it belongs.
I urge workers at CNH to join and build rank-and-file committees, send delegations to other UAW workplaces, and fight to expand and win this strike. To learn more about getting involved in this fight, email me or visit WillforUAWPresident.org.
- UAW presidential candidate Will Lehman: “Mobilize the working class behind striking CNH workers!”
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- CNH workers need full strike pay and a new strategy to win this struggle!