Will Lehman, a Mack Trucks worker and candidate for president of the United Auto Workers union, issued a video statement Friday pointing to the significance of the growing strike wave in Europe for workers in the US.
In recent weeks, more than 2 million French workers have struck against proposed pension cuts by President Emmanuel Macron, who is seeking to raise the retirement age. In the UK, over half a million workers struck earlier this month against proposed anti-strike legislation, followed by the largest-ever strike of health care workers in the history of the National Health Service.
“The corporate-controlled media has blacked out news of these struggles,” Lehman explains. “The American ruling class fears that workers in the US will be inspired by the mass movement of the working class that is spreading across Europe.”
In December, Lehman filed a formal protest over the unofficial results of the first round of the UAW elections, which saw an abysmally low turnout of only 9 percent. The elections had been irreparably marred by deliberate voter suppression carried out by the UAW bureaucracy, Lehman argued, which was demonstrated in the widespread failure to provide workers adequate notice of the elections and the UAW’s systematic refusal to update its membership database, preventing potentially hundreds of thousands of workers from receiving their ballots. In response, Lehman has called for the elections to be rerun.
Lehman, a socialist, has run on a program of rank-and-file power, demanding the abolition of the pro-corporate UAW bureaucracy and the transfer of control and decision-making to the shop floor. He has also urged workers to adopt an international perspective and join and build the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees.
To learn more about Lehman’s campaign, visit WillforUAWpresident.org.