Socialist UAW presidential candidate Will Lehman wins 4,777 votes in election with very low turnout

Workers show support for Will Lehman for UAW presidency [Photo: WSWS] [Photo: WSWS]

Despite a massive effort by the United Auto Workers (UAW) bureaucracy to muzzle voters in the union’s presidential election, socialist candidate Will Lehman received the votes of 4,777 workers , according to an unofficial final tally posted Friday night by a court-appointed monitor.

Only 103,495 workers voted out of the union’s 1.1 million active and retired members. The 9 percent voter turnout shows that the election result is illegitimate and that any leadership that may emerge will not have any credibility with the membership at large.

Outgoing UAW President Ray Curry and longtime bureaucrat Shawn Fain each got less than 40 percent, less than 40,000 votes, though Curry got several hundred more than Fain. The bureaucracy’s two leading candidates failed to garner the support of 4 percent of the membership as a whole. According to the rules, the two candidates with the most votes advance to the second round if neither of them wins more than 50 percent of the vote. The second round cannot be legitimate if the two candidates together have not obtained nearly 10 percent of the votes in the first round.

It is evident that the vast majority of UAW members either did not know an election was taking place or did not even receive a ballot. The UAW bureaucracy and its leaders, who had opposed direct elections in a referendum last year, have made minimal efforts to educate workers about it, hoping to block as much of the process as possible. participation and limit the process to their favorite candidates.

“This election was a travesty,” Lehman told the WSWS.

“About nine out of ten UAW members who are eligible to vote did not vote. It’s not because they don’t care, it’s because they didn’t know there was an election. Although bureaucracy everywhere attempted to prevent voter participation, it is now clear that the UAW conspired to prevent nearly all West Coast university workers from voting, even though 48,000 members of the UAW are engaged in a courageous strike against the University of California system. There is no innocent explanation for this. This justifies my campaign’s decision to sue the UAW and the Comptroller two weeks ago to extend the deadline and inform members. The decision of the judge who rejected my request turned out to be totally illegitimate”.

Indeed, some UAW locals with thousands of members recorded a turnout of 1 percent or less, while many other locals recorded a turnout of less than 10 percent.

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