Deceased: October 15, 2006
Caroline Lund-Sheppard passed away on October 14, 2006 from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease. She was an activist and leader in her union of the United Automobile Workers at the New United Motors Manufacturing plant in Freemont, CA, where she had worked since 1992. For eight years, she published a rank and file plant newsletter building its readership to over 1,000. The newsletter defended wrongdoers against company abuses, and criticized the union bureaucrats when they didn’t. She gave other workers a platform to voice their opinions. Through her activism, Caroline developed a reputation for being fearless, honest, and knowledgeable. At one point,, the president and chairman of the local threatened to sue her because Caroline criticized them. Workers were outraged that top union officials would seek to silence a rank and file worker, and the threat to sue was quickly dropped.
Caroline was a socialist, having joined the Socialist Workers Party in 1964. She was active in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam movements, and later in the women’s liberation movement. She left the SWP in 1988, having developed political and organizational differences, and then worked with various socialist groups in the Bay Area. She was at every demonstration opposing the war against Iraq.
She is survived by her husband of 40 years, Barry Sheppard, a sister, and two nieces.