UAW presidential candidate Will Lehman replies to UAW refusal to release delegate list as legally required

The WSWS has endorsed the campaign of Lehman for UAW president. To find out more about Lehman’s campaign, visit WillforUAWpresident.org.

On Saturday, Will Lehman, a Mack Trucks worker and candidate for UAW International president, sent a letter to UAW Secretary-Treasurer Frank Stuglin protesting the UAW’s refusal to provide Lehman a list of delegates to the July 25 convention, as required by the election rules. Earlier last week, Lehman received official approval as an eligible, “Bona Fide” candidate for UAW president by the court-appointed Monitor.

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The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter published the exchange, which Lehman posted on his social media accounts, below.

In his letter to Stuglin Lehman stated, “Last week, I called and emailed your office multiple times to demand the delegates list pursuant to Rule 4-11 of the 2022 UAW Election Rules as issued by the court-appointed monitor. The rule states that ‘all candidates have the right to request and receive… a list of the names and Local Union numbers of all Convention delegates.’”

Lehman explained that he received a voicemail from Mike Lacour, UAW Director of Information Systems, on Friday at 4:30 p.m. In the voicemail, Lacour said he had received a request for “some information” and would “provide direction on how to receive that information,” but that he was “heading out of the office for the weekend” and would not be back until Monday morning.

Lehman wrote about the call in his letter: “Mr. Lacour’s response, issued at 4:30 P.M. Friday as he was leaving work early for the weekend, shows that you have made the decision not to send me the delegates list in a timely manner. This is an attempt to bar me from effectively campaigning for nominations at the convention.

“You are preventing a rank-and-file worker and UAW member in good standing from participating in the election, which is a violation of the UAW Election Rules and the Consent Decree. This blatant anti-democratic act by the UAW apparatus shows why workers need a real alternative on the ballot this November.”

Lehman noted that Lacour is paid $155,000 a year, “four times more than what is paid to large numbers of UAW members.” He added, “His exorbitant salary for a cushy job, that allows him to work banker’s hours, is paid for with the dues money of workers like myself. He should at least show the proper respect for union members and fulfill his legal obligations.”

Asked for comment, Lehman told the WSWS, “While the UAW executives were out on the weekend enjoying themselves, Ventra workers, who voted by 98 percent to strike after rejecting a sellout UAW contract by 95 percent, were working all weekend for $15 an hour. I’m running to put an end to decades of sellouts, to take power away from the corrupt apparatus and give it to the workers themselves.”

Also on Saturday, Lehman issued a video appeal to autoworkers and other UAW members to call on delegates at their workplace to nominate him in the convention.

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Lehman appealed for all workers in the UAW to contact their delegates to ask them to nominate him at the upcoming convention, which begins on July 25.

“I call for the transfer of power to the rank-and-file,” Lehman said. “The time has come to break up the apparatus whose payroll runs into the tens of millions of dollars annually. Hundreds of individuals on the Solidarity House payroll receive six figure salaries. They live comfortable lives, totally remote from the real-life experience of workers who struggle day after day to make ends meet.”

He added, “With official inflation reaching 9 percent, workers can’t afford gas, rent and food expenses under the sellout deals forced through by the apparatus. We need massive pay increases, cost-of-living adjustments, an end to tiers and full funding of pensions for all retirees, no matter what.”

To find out more about Lehman’s campaign, visit WillforUAWpresident.org.