Law enforcement officials arrested nearly 10 people involved in the United Auto Workers strike in Spring Hill Wednesday, apparently because they disregard police instructions.
UAW members nationwide are currently striking against General Motors, which has a plant in Spring Hill.
Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles held a press conference in Spring Hill Wednesday, near the GM plant, alongside UAW Local 1853 Chairman Mike Herron.
“Some of the folks arrested today were in an area where the police asked them multiple times to go ahead and get out of the roadway and they were fearful of them getting hurt. They ended up taking them away for their own good, I guess,” Herron told assembled members of the media.
“We believe the number to be somewhere between seven to nine. The police have done a fantastic job and have been supportive of us.”
Ogles said at Wednesday’s press conference that he was primarily there to voice support for workers after GM officials cancelled their health care benefits without notice.
“That was an unprecedented move and was wrong,” Ogles said, adding he’d had conversations with one GM worker on a transplant list now in limbo as well as a pregnant woman who had nowhere to go.
Herron, meanwhile, said he knew of another GM employee who needed health care benefits for chemotherapy sessions.
Herron said GM officials cut off the health care benefits without any prior notice. Employees only found out after they tried to visit their physicians, he went on to say.
“When health care was dropped, it put a lot of people in jeopardy,” Herron said.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had that happen before in the last 50 years of negotiations.”
When asked why GM workers went on strike and what the precise contractual issues were, Herron said this:
“We are fighting for the workers. We have temporary workers who have been with us for three years or more and they want a permanent job or at least a pathway to a permanent job,” Herron said.
“But things took on a whole new meaning when health care was dropped.”
– – –