World Labor

Down But Not Out

By Caroline Lund

I got this message a few days ago. I didnít pass it on right away because I felt too emotional and I didnít know what to say. Now I realize, I donít have to say anything. I couldnít possibly add anything appropriate to such an elegant letter.

In a message sent August 13, 2006 Caroline Lund wrote the following note to me:

Love and Solidarity.

—Gregg Shotwell

Gregg, could you please pass this on to SOS [Soldiers of Solidarity], Future of the Union, the new Factory Rat, and all the other wonderful workers with guts and principles who have come together over the past year to try to fight back.

It turns out that I have ALS, also called Lou Gehrigís Disease. The nerves that run your muscles die off and you ultimately end up paralyzed and canít swallow or breathe. They donít know the cause or the cure yet.

So far my arms and legs are affected and my voice is slowed down. I get around in a wheel chair. I donít intend to prolong the process with feeding tubes, breathing tubes, etc.

I wanted to let you all know because if it wasnít for this disease I would have been much more supportive of the good fight over the past year. I was at least able to let people in my plant (NUMMI) know about the SOS resistance. And Iím so glad I got to meet many of you at the Labor Notes conference.

I feel so proud to have been associated with the SOS cause. It turned out this time that Delphi and other workers were not ready for a real mass, serious fightback. But you never know when the tinderbox is going to be ready to explode. At least SOS was out there putting out the truth and a voice of resistance that could possibly have found a massive echo.

So, keep up the good work. Donít get discouraged. Take it as a badge of courage when the GOBís (Good Old Boys) attack you. I will continue letting my local leaders know about your protests and positions.

SOS Forever!

Caroline Lund has made a number of contributions to this magazine over the five years of its existence. Up to the time her illness forced her to retire she had been a rank-and-file activist and leader of NUMMI UAW Local 2244 in Freemont CA. She has also served as editor and publisher of a rank-and-file newsletter, The Barking Dog.

Caroline has been a longtime comrade and friend of editors and supporters of Socialist Viewpoint. We are concerned and proud to have known and worked together with her and her life-companion, Barry Sheppard, in the greatest cause history has known, the struggle by the world working class for a better worldóa socialist world!

—The Editors