In the early 1980s, Jon Melrod worked in a Wisconsin auto plant and published a shop-floor newspaper, Fighting Times. When the company sued him and his coworkers for denouncing a “scab of the month” in the paper, the rank and filers fought back — and won.
Jon Melrod is a former radical student activist who spent over a decade organizing militant labor struggles around Milwaukee, including as a worker in UAW Local 72. He is the author of Fighting Times: Organizing on the Front Lines of the Class War.
Jon Melrod was part of a wave of student radicals who took jobs in factories in the 1970s. He spoke to Jacobin about life in working-class Wisconsin, becoming a workplace leader, and how to merge shop-floor fights with a broader left politics.