Will Lehman to Ray Curry and Shawn Fain: Stop blaming low turnout on worker apathy instead of deliberate voter suppression!

In the first round of United Auto Workers (UAW) executive elections, only 9 percent of members cast their ballots. Only 103,495 votes were counted. After a long silence, both factions of the UAW bureaucracy – represented by Ray Curry and Shawn Fain – have commented on the fact that one million members out of 1.1 million did not vote. Both say that we, the ordinary workers, are to blame because of our “apathy”.

In an interview with the Detroit Free Press of December 30, Ray Curry, who received less than 4 percent of the votes of eligible members, described the turnout as “unfortunate.” Curry said that “1.1 million ballots were mailed home and people had an opportunity to make a decision.” Those who didn’t vote, according to Curry, “have made the decision that they don’t want to participate.”

Like Ray Curry, the constituency Members United, led by UAW career official Shawn Fain, has tried to blame workers’ “apathy” for the low turnout. Like Curry, Fain received less than 4 percent of the votes from eligible voters in the first round.

In a Twitter thread, Members United pointed out the low turnout and asked: “Why are our members so apathetic? Why doesn’t she seem interested?”

I want to assure Shawn Fain and Members United that there is a great concern among members, both active and retired, that our wages and pensions are so low that we cannot keep up with inflation. We do care for our colleagues who have died from Covid-19 and other unsafe working conditions while working out record profits for some of the world’s largest companies. We are concerned about the divisive pay scale system. We worry about the fact that the UAW leadership has foisted concession contracts on us for decades and is now part of the management, taking bribes from the corporations and spending our dues money on alcohol, expensive clothing and luxury hotels.

We care so much that we’re willing to risk our livelihoods on strike and survive on the meager strike pay the UAW apparatus offers us, only to betray us. That’s why 48,000 University of California academic workers went on strike last month before the UAW leadership betrayed them. That’s why my colleagues and I went on strike at Mack Trucks in 2019 before the UAW leadership did the same to us. That’s why 50,000 General Motors workers went on strike that same year, 3,000 Volvo workers and 10,000 John Deere workers in 2021. CNH workers in Iowa and Wisconsin are still on strike today.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.