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Dutcher, Dohner win Local 95 posts

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JAMES P. LEUTE
May 7, 2008
— Two top United Auto Workers Local 95 officials won their elections and will be charged with navigating their union through a sea of questions.

In balloting that ended this morning, Brad Dutcher was elected president of Local 95, which represents union employees at several companies in the area, including General Motors in Janesville.


For the past six years, Dutcher has served as first vice president of the union under president Mike Sheridan, who is retiring from GM and did not seek re-election. Dutcher defeated GM employee Kurt Kempf for the top spot.


In balloting for shop committee chair at the GM plant, John Dohner Jr. was re-elected over John Woodworth and Jerry Ahrens. Dohner has held the post for six years, and last year was a part of the international UAW’s top negotiating team that hammered out a landmark national contract with GM.


While that contract is behind them, Dohner and Local 95 still face a variety of challenges. The union still is negotiating a local contract that covers plant-specific issues for Janesville. Workers at the plant also are deciding on whether to take a GM-offered special attrition program that’s likely to reduce plant employment significantly.


And last week, GM announced that it would cut second-shift production at the plant in a move that is expected to result in the loss of 750 jobs and changes in the speed of the assembly line.


Several other elections resulted in the need for run-off elections, which Sheridan said are in the process of being scheduled.



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