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Kempf, Dutcher seeking UAW Local 95 top spot

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JAMES P. LEUTE
May 5, 2008
— With its largest unit struggling, United Auto Workers Local 95 will elect a new leader this week.

Mike Sheridan, Local 95 president for the last six years, is retiring from General Motors and is not seeking re-election. Sheridan continues to represent Janesville in the Wisconsin Assembly.


Kurt Kempf and Brad Dutcher are running for Local 95s top spot. Balloting starts at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday and ends at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.


The new leader will take over a union that was hit last week with news that GM will end second-shift production in Janesville in July. Hourly workers at the plant also are contemplating an attrition program. Local 95 also represents workers at Lear Corp. and LSI, two supplier also hit hard by the GM announcement.


While Local 95 ratified a national contract with GM last fall, it has yet to settle a local contract that governs rules and working conditions specific to the Janesville GM plant.


Kempf has nearly 31 years in at the Janesville plant, where he has held a variety of positions but since 1989 has worked in general assembly.


I know we have a great challenge ahead, but we also have a great opportunity to bring the union together, Kempf said in a statement on his Web site. We need to find ways to make our plant and people so great that the corporation would not ever think of shutting us down.


Dutcher, too, has worked in a variety of positions in his GM career. He has served as a union committeeman in the plant and for the last six years has been a vice president for Local 95.


I know the operation and how the union functions, Dutcher said. Im running first and foremost to put everyone back to work and to make sure that we secure work for the future.


John Dohner Jr., Local 95s shop committee chairman at GM, will face two challengers in this weeks election. They are John Woodworth and Jerry Ahrens.


Other contested races:


-- First VP: Terry Sebero, Jim Benash and Andy Richardson.


-- Second VP: Steve Kerl, Kip Hirschfield and Michael Trail


-- Financial secretary: Tim Rutter, Lenette Holden and Pam Good.


-- Trustees (3): Tracey Cook, Brian Westendorf, William Schauer, Julie Spangler, Greg Malueg, Michael Saputo and Juvell Calvin.


-- Sergeant-at-arms: Lenny St. Michaels, Cleatus Marshall, Nate Nelson and Keith Breidenstein.


-- Guide: Sanford Jones, Mike Sommerfeldt, Jamie Hassinger and Rich Piccione.


-- Chairman, Lear Corp.: Drew Schoening, Mike Vaughn and Ken Champion.


-- Chairman, Alcoa Wheel: Mike Emmens and Mike La Belle.


-- Committeepersons, GM: Phil Selmer and Jim Kellogg for Zone 1, and Tim Silha, Vince Russo and Dennis Schaffer for Zone 2.



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