The following is an email that rank-and-file UAW candidate and Macungie, Pennsylvania, Mack Trucks worker Will Lehman sent to the UAW membership on Thursday, September 15. On Tuesday, Lehman published a video challenging UAW President Ray Curry to debate him at the candidate forum to be held on Thursday, September 22 at 6 p.m. EDT. The UAW is not publicizing the debate because it does not want workers to attend. To date, Curry has not publicly stated he will agree to attend the debate.
The email was sent with the subject line, “Will Ray Curry debate a rank-and-file worker?”
Hello brothers and sisters,
This is Will Lehman, rank-and-file candidate for UAW president. One week from today, on September 22, at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, I will be participating in a historic debate of presidential candidates, organized by the court-appointed monitor.
Workers will be able to watch the debate at the following link: https://youtu.be/2TAY1d9nihY. I urge all of you to attend and to share this link as widely as possible.
UAW President Ray Curry has not confirmed that he will participate. Will the head of the bureaucratic apparatus of the UAW actually allow himself to be challenged by a representative of rank-and-file workers?
The UAW apparatus is hiding the debate from their membership. Many workers do not even know a debate is taking place because the UAW has made no serious attempt to inform the membership. The UAW website makes no prominent mention of the debate, though it regularly posts self-promoting PR statements from Ray Curry.
Workers have a democratic right to a full discussion of the burning issues confronting the union’s 400,000 active members and 600,000 retired members.
We face inflation nearing 10 percent that eats away our wages and cuts into our savings thanks to UAW-imposed contracts that help management exploit us. We want to be united to fight the companies, but the UAW has divided us into tiers in order to pit us against each other. Our retirees—veterans of labor—struggle to get by on fixed incomes. COVID-19 is still spreading through the plants, putting us all at risk.
A number of UAW leaders have been convicted for accepting bribes from the company, but the collaboration with the corporations continues just like before. The UAW executives are social parasites who get rich off of our dues money. They have hoarded over $1 billion in assets and employ 450 people who make over $100,000 a year, and the leadership still says they cannot pay us full strike pay.
We need to discuss these issues and forge a strategy to reverse decades of givebacks and to fight for what we workers need, not what the companies say they can afford.
My campaign is aimed at building a mass movement of the rank-and-file to break the dictatorship of the UAW apparatus and bring power to the shop floor. Giving power to workers means giving us a voice.
That is why I am asking you to do the following today:
1. Contact me by replying to this email and telling me what you want me to raise at the debate on September 22. You can also text/call me at (267) 225-6633. When I appear at the debate on Thursday, it will be to represent you.
2. Publicize the debate among your co-workers so that it receives the broadest possible audience. Again, the link is here: https://youtu.be/2TAY1d9nihY
3. Donate to my campaign: I’m running for UAW president to build a movement of rank-and-file workers, and substantial resources are required to do this effectively. If you agree with my program and what I have to say, I ask that you make as large as possible a donation today.
Visit my new website at WillforUAWPresident.org for more information on my campaign and to get involved. To sign up for text updates, text WILL to (877) 861-4428. Write to me at email@example.com.
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