The smaller of the two unions at the General Motors plant has a new president-elect.
Election results were released Tuesday, and Robert Morales will be taking charge of United Auto Workers 1714.
“It’s been a yearlong process. We’re excited to put it behind us and get back to work,” Morales said.
Morales, an 18-year plant employee, will take the place of Dave Green. Green had been president of 1714 for six years, first taking the position in 2007.
Green said that Morales’ taking over as president of the union would provide him with some additional free time to spend with his family.
“It’s a demanding job, and so in some ways, it’s a relief,” he said. “I’m really pleased to be able to pass the torch, and wish my successor all the success in the world.”
During Green’s tenure as president, there was a significant of change for GM and the Lordstown plant.
“The contract in 2007 was a trying time; then in 2008 we had transfers and layoffs; then in 2009 we declared bankruptcy; and then in 2010 we rolled out the new product,” Green said. “There’s been a lot of challenges. I’ve been proud to lead during these times.”
The goal for Morales is for the union to find more ways to work within the Mahoning Valley to benefit others.
“The goal is to find more ways to give back to the community,” Morales said. “We’re going to continue to build our relationship with the community.”
The future of the Lords-town plant looks positive in terms of sales and hiring. There are many union members who have done a lot and have made sacrifices to put the company in its current position, he said.
Morales, of Boardman, is a second-generation plant employee. His father was among the first group of workers at the plant in 1967. Morales is a Youngstown native and a graduate of the former Woodrow Wilson High School.
“He went straight into the plant after he got out of the military,” Morales said of his father.
Glenn Johnson, president of UAW 1112, the other union at the GM facility, referred to Morales as a “great guy.”
Johnson said he looks forward to working with Morales. “Robert and I have had a great working relationship in the past, and I look forward to that continuing,” Johnson said.
Thursday’s Bike Show at the plant was Morales’ first event as 1714 president-elect.
Morales will be formally sworn in Tuesday at the 1714 Union Hall. A time for the ceremony has not be set.