After graduating from the University of Iowa with a BA degree, I went to work in Midwestern factories and pursued an interest in labor politics and organizing. In 1978 Ford Motor Co. hired me as an assembler at the Twin City Ford Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota where I worked for 28 years as an assembler, electrician and full-time union representative. In 1998 I became President of UAW 879 at the Ford plant and was elected more three times to that office serving from 1998-2006. When Ford announced their decision to close the Twin Cities Plant in 2006 I took a job on the International UAW staff as a regional servicing representative working in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. I was elected to and served on the Minnesota State AFL-CIO Executive Board for twelve years as a multi-union representative and was also elected as secretary-treasurer of UAW Ford Sub-Council #2, a national bargaining council of U.S. Ford assembly plants between 2002-2006.
When I retired in 2016 I began researching an attack that took place on workers at a Ford assembly plant near Mexico City.
El Golpe: U.S. Labor the CIA and the Coup at Ford Mexico
Early in my research, a friend with excellent knowledge of the United Auto Workers internal operations told me, "Don't give up. They are hiding something"…'
It’s 1990, and US labour is being outsourced to Mexico. Rumours of a violent confrontation at the Mexican Ford Assembly plant on January 8 reach the United Auto Workers (UAW) union in the US: nine employees had been shot by a group of drunken thugs and gangsters, in an act of political repression which changed the course of Mexican and US workers’ rights forever.
Rob McKenzie was working at the Ford Twin Cities Assembly plant in Minnesota when he heard of the attack. He didn’t believe the official story and began a years-long investigation to uncover the truth. His findings took him further than he expected – all the way to the doors of the CIA. Virtually unknown outside of Mexico, the full story of ‘El Golpe’, or ‘The Coup’, is a dark tale of political intrigue that still resonates today.
El Golpe: The Coup at Ford Mexico 1989/1990still looking for the right publisher