A member of the Chicago Ford election committee speaks | Rare Techy


Ford Chicago workers show support for Will Lehman [Photo: WSWS]

Rank-and-file workers at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant (Ford CAP) recently formed a Chicago Ford election committee to support the campaign of Will Lehman, the socialist candidate for president of the United Autoworkers. Will Lehman is working on a program to eliminate the corrupt union bureaucracy and put union power back in the hands of the rank and file. His campaign is calling for the restoration of the cost-of-living adjustment, a 50 percent raise for all auto workers, the immediate transition of temporary workers to full-time, an end to the tier system and more.

The Chicago Ford Committee is part of a growing wave of global and US auto workers. This includes autoworkers in Louisville, Kentucky and Detroit, as well as Flint, Michigan, who are forming rank-and-file committees to begin organizing an independent struggle against the corporations and return power to the rank-and-file workers. Committee members are working to raise awareness of Will’s campaign among factory workers.

A member of the Chicago Ford committee spoke World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter about factory conditions that prompted him and other workers to support Will’s campaign.

The employee’s name, department and shift will not be released to avoid retaliation by both management and UAW officials. If you work at Ford Chicago Assembly or Stamping and would like more information on how to get involved with the rank committee, please email or call (773) 234-7135 for more information. For more information on Lehman’s campaign, visit

What are the conditions like on a daily basis?

The cleaning conditions are terrible. There are so many cockroaches that we have to bring our bug spray to the plant. You have to spray when you see them because you don’t want to take them home. In addition, they fly. I never knew roaches flew before I worked at CAP, but they have wings like beetles.

All the bathrooms are terrible. For a company with so much money, having such old toilets, sinks and hand dryers is ridiculous. We have equipment that has been around since I was a kid! All the bathrooms look like they’re from the 60’s and I’ve seen fast food bathrooms that are better. There is also no hot water. But they have all new bathrooms in the corporate offices.

This situation is ridiculous when it comes to employee water. They didn’t even have water stations in the factory until this year. It can be 90 degrees outside and 100 degrees in the factory and they forget to give us water. One time a water machine had a pipe misconnected and it went to the bathroom water line and there was feces in the water and ice.

Now they’re taking away the versatile work because the new factory management came in, so we’re in a situation where it’s harder to go to the bathroom. Versatile workers come in and cover the work when we have to leave the line because the line doesn’t stop. It becomes more difficult to decide whether to have snacks and drinks or go to the toilet. Going to the bathroom or taking too long a break can be written up depending on the instructor. You don’t know what someone’s situation is; they may have a medical condition that means they need to use the bathroom more than others.

Vending machines – many workers live off food – are so outdated. There are stale, half-frozen pizza wedges and burgers; not healthy at all. We spend most of our days there and hardly have time to go out and get good food.


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