The following email was sent by UAW presidential candidate and rank-and-file worker Will Lehman to UAW members. Ballots for the 2022 national UAW elections are scheduled to be mailed out to UAW members on October 17 and must be returned by November 18 to ensure that they are counted. For more information on Lehman’s campaign, visit WillforUAWPresident.org.
Dear brothers and sisters,
On October 17, in less than two weeks, ballots will begin going out for the first-ever direct elections of the leadership of the United Auto Workers. This is a historic opportunity for rank-and-file workers to express our opposition to the entire bureaucracy, which has sold us out for decades, rammed through contracts we opposed and defied the will of the membership.
For this reason, the UAW apparatus has done everything it can to keep workers in the dark about the election and the positions of the candidates. I have spoken to many workers who do not even know that an election is being held.
A week and a half ago, I participated in a debate among the candidates for UAW president. But the UAW apparatus has done virtually nothing to inform workers that there was a debate, and only about 1.5 percent of UAW workers and retirees have watched the video. The UAW doesn’t want anyone to watch the debate because it so thoroughly exposed incumbent President Ray Curry and Co. as pro-corporate enemies of the working class, who have as little connection to rank-and-file workers as the man on the moon.
My campaign is about establishing a new base of power through the building of rank-and-file committees of workers in every plant and workplace to fight for what we need, not what the UAW bureaucracy and the companies say is acceptable. We must assert our will and our interests. We must unite all workers in the UAW with workers throughout the country and around the world who are confronting the same issues and face the same enemies.
The election itself is a critical stage in this battle. The bureaucrats in the UAW want as little participation in this election by rank-and-file workers as possible. They opposed the referendum for direct elections because they know that the apparatus is universally despised by the rank and file.
The situation will not change unless we act. As workers, we have tremendous strength, but nobody is going to fight for what we need but ourselves. This is the purpose of my campaign, but I am not a miracle worker. You must make the decision to take up this fight.
This is why I am calling on you to form a rank-and-file election committee in your workplace.
These committees will accomplish the following:
- Distribute information throughout your workplace on how to participate in the election, including what workers must do to ensure that they get a ballot and when they have to send it in. You can view and share frequently asked questions about the UAW elections on my website at willforuawpresident.org/uawelections.
- Make sure that all workers watch the presidential candidates’ debate, which I have posted on my website here.
- Organize meetings of workers in your plant or workplace to discuss the issues in the election and what demands we must fight for to secure our interests.
- Set up informational pickets outside your workplace to distribute information and promote my rank-and-file campaign for UAW president.
- Lay the foundation for the rank-and-file networks that are necessary to continue to fight for what we need once the election is over.
- I am asking you today: write to my campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org or text (267) 225-6633 for assistance in setting up an election committee. Tell me where you work and what you think we must fight for in this election and beyond. I will do everything I can to assist you in setting up a committee at your workplace and to link your committee to similar committees that are being set up across the country.
Fellow rank-and-file workers: If we are going to fight for what we need, we cannot allow the initiative to remain in the hands of the apparatus. We must organize ourselves! Contact my campaign and build a rank-and-file election committee today!
P.S. I want to do everything I can to make sure workers are informed—about the elections, about my campaign, and about the strikes and other struggles workers are launching. But to do that, I need your financial support. If you agree with what I’m fighting for, then donate as much as you can to my campaign today.