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Former UAW 1112 chief seeks regional board post

Dave Green oversaw local union through its darkest hour

The ex-president of United Auto Workers Local 1112 is running to become director of the UAW’s region encompassing Ohio and Indiana, an executive board-level seat departed by Youngstown native Rich Rankin amid harassment claims.

Dave Green put delegates in Region 2-B on notice of his interest, writing to them ahead of Thursday’s vote, “You are the only road to change and only you can make this happen.”

Green, who led Local 1112 through its darkest hour with the closure of General Motors’ assembly plant in Lordstown, resigned the presidency a year ago and left for GM’s Bedford Casting Operations in Bedford, Ind., where he’s a hot metal driver.

Green has been with the automaker for more than 30 years, starting as a temporary employee in 1989. He became president of Local 1112 in May 2018 that by then had merged with UAW Local 1714, which represented workers in the fab plant at the GM complex. Before that, Green served a period as president of Local 1714.

Six months after he assumed the role of Local 1112 president, GM announced it was shuttering the plant. He was among the leaders of an unsuccessful effort to convince GM to walk back its decision and assign a new production vehicle to Lordstown, and left for Indiana when the automaker finally sealed the plant’s fate when it inked a new UAW contract last year.

Green admits his effort at regional director is a long shot, given, he said, that an unendorsed candidate has won a director’s seat maybe twice in the union’s history.

“I like to help people and I would love to have the opportunity to help the locals in the region and serve the members in the region,” Green said Tuesday. “I think I’m qualified for the job.”

Green has to be nominated for the seat when the convention opens. Without that, he cannot be elected. His candidacy, he said, is an option for change.

In his letter to delegates, Green points out they have the power to vote outside the caucus and asks if the “handpicked” UAW leaders have been “the best choice for our members, our locals?”

“Here is the main point: I am not and will not be beholden to anyone but the membership of Region 2-B. I am not a part of any other group or organization and I’m running for this position as me,” Green wrote. “My past experience leads me to believe that without the caucus’s support, I stand little chance. This is a tough pill to swallow because I am qualified, dedicated and educated for this position. I have been a loyal soldier for decades and know that if we continue on the current path, we may lose the UAW we all love.”

He would replace Rankin who stepped aside in August. According to a joint statement from the union and Rankin then, the UAW withdrew internal charges against Rankin, a former member of Local 1112, in exchange for his resignation.

The region has been guided by Assistant Director Wayne Blanchard since, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The director’s election comes as several senior ranking officials in the union face criminal charges, the latest being former UAW President Dennis Williams, who is accused of conspiring with his successor and others to embezzle money for golf, vacation villas and fine dining.

He retired as UAW president in 2018, handing the reins to Gary Jones, who was promoted to the top job from the union’s St. Louis-area regional office. Jones pleaded guilty in June to similar allegations.

Region 2-B members come from more than 50 companies in the two-state area with operations from automaking to parts production to nurses, food and financial service and professional workers, according to UAW’s website.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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