SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WTVF) — Maury County Sheriff’s officials arrested several protesters at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill as the United Automobile Workers strike continues. Roughly 7 to 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 goes on to say.
"At the end of the day, these men and women in uniform don't want you to get hurt." said Mayor Andy Ogles. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Herron, the mayor says he supports the strike but, "...we don't want anyone to get injured, no one needs to get hurt in this process."
Nearly 50,000 workers nationwide went on strike at midnight Monday after contract negotiations broke down between GM and the UAW. This included 3,300 workers at the GM plant in Spring Hill. 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 said, adding there are three employees who needed chemotherapy treatment just 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.