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Protesters arrested at GM plant in Tennessee as UAW strike continues

Posted at 7:47 PM, Sep 18, 2019

SPRING HILL, Tenn. — Maury County Sheriff's officials arrested several protesters at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill as the United Automobile Workers strike continues. Between 7 and 9 people were arrested, according to Mark Herron, Chairman of UAW's Local Chapter 1853.

"They weren't aggressive; they were just going ahead and making a point," Herron said.

The demonstrators were asked to move by law enforcement, Herron went on to say.

"At the end of the day, these men and women in uniform don't want you to get hurt," Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, said.

Ogles said he supports the strike but doesn't want to see anyone get hurt.

Nearly 50,000 workers nationwide — including 3,300 workers at the Spring Hill plant — went on strike at midnight Monday after contract negotiations broke down between GM and the UAW. Union leaders say GM pulled the plug on healthcare benefits without warning.

"It was a low blow and unnecessary." Ogles said.

"Suddenly, when that healthcare was dropped, it put a lot of people in jeopardy." Herron said. "People are waiting on organ transplants. We have pregnant mothers."

Herron added three employees needed chemo treatments as of this morning.

The three-day strike has already started to affect production in other countries. GM has placed about 1,200 workers on temporary layoff at a Canadian factory that makes pickup trucks.

This story was originally published by Caroline Sutton and Lisa Reyes on WTVF in Nashville.