Marcia Walters, widow of deceased UAW member Danny Walters, endorses Will Lehman's campaign for UAW President

Marcia Walters is the widow of Danny Walters, who died on June 2, 2021 after suffering a seizure on the floor of Dana Inc.’s auto parts plant in Dry Ridge, Kentucky. Marcia was visiting a relative at the time her husband suffered a seizure and neither the company or the UAW informed her that her husband had a seizure. Had the UAW or company informed her of what happened to her husband, she could have returned in time to save his life. Instead, he died after suffering a second seizure later that night.

Marcia has long spoken out on behalf of Dana workers, who waged a bitter fight against the UAW and USW last year, rejecting a sellout contract rammed through the UAW in a process overseen by present UAW Secretary-Treasurer Frank Stuglin. Marcia sent the following letter endorsing Will Lehman for UAW President:

* * *

It’s been over a year now that my husband, Danny Walters, died after having a grand mal seizure at the Dana plant in Dry Ridge, Kentucky. He did not die at the plant, but later that night after being released from the local ER and having a second seizure in our home. It was an accidental death, as he fell between our bed and a dresser, causing his airway to be blocked. He died, according to the autopsy report, of “positional asphyxiation.” I’ll never know for sure what happened before he was transported from the plant, but I find it appalling that no one was responsible enough in the plant that night to inform me. Production continued and my dear husband and father of three children, would never return to their plant. Workers deserve much more.

Danny and Marcia Walters on their wedding day, 1996. Danny passed away on June 2, 2021 after suffering a seizure at Dana's Dry Ridge Kentucky plant. [Photo by Marcia Walters]

By happenstance, I was not home that night to help him during the second seizure (at least that’s the reason we think he ended up wedged between the bed and a dresser). As his wife of twenty-four years, I cared for him through many a seizure. Sadly, I found him dead the next morning when I arrived home. My worst nightmare became reality.

His insurance just recently denied the accidental death claim, stating that due to him having a seizure disorder, it would not be applicable. It’s put us in a terrible position to keep my youngest son in college and keep our heads above water. I am thankful for the original money we received, but it quickly disappeared paying hospital bills. I continue working two jobs and plan to pick up a third soon. I say this because you need to be aware of what your plans say and do for you.

I remain burdened that no one from the plant or ER informed me that he had been taken to the hospital that night. Those of you working in these types of jobs deserve better. You are doing the labor that makes those in the corporate offices rich. You need someone to represent you and fight for real change. You deserve time off during the week. You deserve to see your family. You deserve rest and you deserve fair wages and a safe environment and the best possible benefits.

My husband had secured a job at the plant to try and bring home a better paycheck. As a family, we quickly learned that their workers rarely got time off, and were mandated to work overtime more often than not. For Danny, it became a death sentence. The money was not worth becoming a slave. He tried so hard to be the best provider he could be, but the lack of rest and feeling like a slave caused our entire family to suffer. During the time my husband worked there, he lost joy for life.

I write this to encourage you to support the campaign of Will Lehman for UAW International President. He wants to see the power back in the hands of those who do the work. I speak for my husband who has lost his voice. I speak once again to encourage you to fight for yourselves and your families. You work hard and deserve to be treated fairly and deserve to be heard. Vote for Will Lehman for UAW President!