UAW President Glenn Johnson out, Dave Green in
By Kalea Hall
The former president of United Auto Workers Local 1714 will become president of UAW Local 1112 next month.
Members of Local 1112 voted in Dave Green, ousting incumbent Glenn Johnson after two three-year terms.
“The membership has spoken,” Johnson said. “We have the most democratic union in the entire world, and the process is the process. I respect that.”
The UAW Local 1112 membership is made up of General Motors Lordstown Assembly Complex workers and workers at the Kmart Distribution Center, Magna Seating Systems, Jamestown Industries, Leadec Industries, Mahoning County Jobs and Family Services and Infinite Synergy.
The UAW doesn’t reveal election result figures.
Since 2013, Green has worked as a team member and team leader in several departments including materials, stamping and the body shop.
Social justice is important to Green, which was in part a reason why he decided to go after the president position.
“I want to make sure we have a chance now for solidarity,” he said. “I want them to know that they have someone who cares a lot, and I am really gonna fight for them.”
On top of the list for what Green would like to accomplish is the need to diversify Lordstown’s product line.
“The people made their choice, and now I got to step up to the plate and prove myself and fight for them,” he said.
Johnson will serve as president through May 20. He has spent 18 years in UAW leadership, and altogether he’s worked at GM Lordstown for more than 40 years.
Since he became president in 2012, the General Motors Lordstown Assembly Complex where the Chevrolet Cruze, a compact car, is produced, has been through some ups and downs.
While he was president, the plant launched the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze which received awards including the “Top Pick” choice for a compact car from Consumer Reports.
The Cruze once had soaring sales, but for months sales have slumped. In March, the car hit its 11th-consecutive month of sales declines. Slowing sales led to the loss of the third shift at the plant and more than 10 down weeks in 2017.
Also in 2017, UAW Local 1112, which previously represented assembly plant workers, and Local 1714, which previously represented fabrication plant workers, announced they would merge. The merger was a way to save GM money and secure the future of GM Lordstown, union officials said at the time. The merger was official earlier this year.
“For a while we have been taking punches left and right,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, the membership is really working their tail off trying to keep GM Lordstown viable and in a good position, but with that comes some of the pitfalls of leadership. When you are a leader, you make tough decisions based on the information you know. When you do that, you risk not making the decision that some people want, but I can go to bed every night knowing I did my very best for this membership.”
Johnson wasn’t sure Tuesday what his next move will be after his term ends.
“It’s kind of fresh right now,” he said.
Green served as the UAW Local 1714 president from 2007 to 2013, according to his campaign flier. While he was president, GM went through bankruptcy.
“The only way we can protect ourselves is by standing together,” he writes in the flier. “This is what the union is all about, standing united. I have a history of bringing people together and working with union members across all walks of life.”