LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In the weeks since production stopped at the General Motors plant in Lordstown, UAW Local 1112 President Dave Green says he’s been working with his membership as they decide what’s next.
“I’m gonna be here right up until I have to leave,” Green said.
Green is making a move after more than two decades at the GM Lordstown plant.
He will be replaced by current Vice President Tim O’Hara.
“The idea is that Tim and the retirees will help carry the torch here until a product comes to Lordstown,” Green said.
A decision that all Lordstown workers are having to make as more and more laid-off workers are either voluntarily moving to other GM plants, choosing to retire, or receiving what are called “requisition letters,” essentially telling them they’re being transferred.
“It just appears to me, in my opinion, that General Motors isn’t going to stop offers to other facilities. If you haven’t received one, you’re probably going to receive one. So we’re just trying to prepare people,” Green said.
Green says right now, there are only about 400 members on the UAW Local’s “active layoff” list who have not left yet.
“They’re into the 96 hires at this point on forced offers and I don’t expect those to slow down or stop any time soon. Every week, more job offers are coming out and people are just going to have to make a decision on whether they try to get somewhere more palatable for them and their family or let GM place you somewhere of their liking,” he said.
Green says another 400 or so have turned down their transfers, deciding to wait and see if GM eventually sends a new model to Lordstown.
He’s hopeful that they will, and if they do, he says the union will still be here for those workers.
“We want to make sure that people have union in the workplace, that they have the ability to sit down and bargain for their job and their healthcare and safety, and that’s what we do,” he said.
Green is voluntarily transferring to a factory in Bedford, Indiana starting on Aug. 19, when O’Hara will take over for the position.
“I’m just trying to give people the best information as I receive it,” Green said.