UAW president at Lordstown GM is leaving for a different job with the company
Green says it was a ‘very tough decision’
By David Skolnick
Dave Green, United Auto Workers Local 1112 president at the idled Lordstown General Motors plant, said he was left with little choice but to take a job with the auto company at a facility in Bedford, Ind.
Green said Wednesday he made the “very tough decision” to accept the transfer, effective Aug. 19.
“The reality is GM is sending offers out to everybody” at the idled Lordstown facility, he said. “I’m either going to decide where to go or GM will. I don’t have a lot of faith GM would make the right choice for me. I don’t want to end up in Missouri or Texas.”
Green said his daughter is starting college next month in Cincinnati, and his brother also lives there. It’s about 125 miles between Bedford and Cincinnati.
About 75 Lordstown workers have either transferred to or will go to the Bedford plant, Green said.
“Everyone is getting offers [to relocate], so if you don’t take it, you’re pretty much fired,” he said. “I have to go somewhere.”
The Bedford Casting Operations facility, which opened in 1942, uses an aluminum die cast process to manufacture transmission casings and converter housing for new fuel-efficient six-speed transmissions, according to GM’s website. Between 2010 and 2015, the company invested about $426 million in the Bedford plant.
Green said he has about five more years to go at GM before he can collect his pension.
“I hope I can retire in five years and move back to the area,” he said.
When Green departs, Tim O’Hara, the UAW local’s vice president, will take over union leadership.
GM announced in November 2018 it planned to idle Lordstown and four other North American plants. GM ended production of the Chevrolet Cruze at the 53-year-old Lords-town plant in March, eliminating about 1,600 jobs left there. As recently as January 2017, there were 4,500 workers in Lordstown.
GM is in negotiations with Workhorse Group Inc. and an affiliated, newly formed entity to sell the Lordstown facility for production of electric vehicles there, though there hasn’t been much news about that proposal lately.
“I really don’t believe the plant will sit idle for a long time,” Green said. “This is being hashed out at the bargaining table. But most of the people working here will be gone” if the facility reopens.
As the UAW president of the idled plant, Green has been quoted in numerous local and national media outlets. But perhaps his biggest claim to fame was when President Donald Trump tweeted March 17: “Democrat UAW Local 1112 President David Green ought to get his act together and produce. GM let our country down, but other much better car companies are coming into the U.S. in droves. I want action on Lordstown fast. Stop complaining and get the job done! 3.8% Unemployment!”
Green said at the time he was “not mad at the president. He didn’t idle the plant, and neither did the UAW. Right now we’re just focused on getting GM to send us another product.”