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“We need to fight these people to defend our jobs”: Louisville Assembly Plant workers denounce threatened plant closure

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The deadline to mail in ballots in the UAW election to make sure they’re counted is a week away, Nov. 18. For more information on Lehman’s campaign, visit WillforUAWPresident.org.

Supporters of United Auto Workers (UAW) presidential candidate Will Lehman spoke to workers at the Ford assembly plant in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday about recent threats to the future of the ‘factory.

A November 3 article published by Automotive News said that ‘the future is uncertain’ for the Louisville plant and its 4,000 workers, in reference to threats made by Ford CEO Jim Farley, who placed a question mark over the allocation of future production to the plant ahead of 2023 contract negotiations with the United States Autoworkers.

During contract negotiations in 2019, General Motors (GM) threatened to close five factories, using the lives of thousands of workers as bargaining chips to demand massive concessions. In the event, three plants were closed while Ford, with the help of the UAW, was able to impose a concession contract that did not address any of the workers’ basic demands.

The Automotive News The article added that other plants were on the chopping block. Louisville Assembly won’t be the only factory at the center of next year’s talks. The future of GM’s Chevrolet Malibu plant in Kansas City, Kansas, and Stellantis’ Jeep Cherokee plant in Belvidere, Illinois, are also up in the air.

In an open letter to Louisville Assembly workers, Lehman said, “Far from defending jobs, the UAW openly collaborates in their destruction. Ford is closing the Romeo Engine plant outside Detroit under the 2019 UAW-Ford contract. Stellantis (Chrysler) has cut jobs at Trenton Engine, Warren Truck and the Warren and Sterling stamping plants, all in the Detroit area.

He continued, “This corporate terrorism must be stopped! I call for the full mobilization of all rank and file workers in the UAW to end any further layoffs or concessions. It’s time to draw a line in the sand: workers’ rights must take precedence over private profit!

David, electrician at Louisville Assembly [Photo: WSWS]

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