As the United Auto Workers’ nationwide GM strike stretches into the weekend, reports of clashes between strikers and individuals attempting to enter picketed GM facilities have been steadily trickling in. The latest comes to us from the GM Spring Hill plant in Tennessee, where one striker ended up in the hospital after a van swerved through the picket line.
The flare-up occurred early Thursday, when a white cargo van approached the GM Spring Hill plant picket line and attempted to enter. UAW strikers blocked the van’s path, but when the driver grew impatient, GM worker Dennis Urbania was caught in the middle.
“A white cargo van pulled up in the far lane over there and they had an issue with him earlier this morning,” Urbania told FOX17 News. “He gunned it and tried to come around the picketers.”
After a group of people ran towards the van, the driver hit the gas again, barreling towards the GM strike picketers.
“I tried to grab a lady because she was in front of the van and next thing I know everything got bright, chest got tight, couldn’t breathe, started sweating,” Urbania said.
GM worker waiting on heart transplant ended up in the hospital today after a van swerved around his picket line and came straight toward him. Doctors checked him to make sure he didn’t go into cardiac arrest. Thankfully he’s okay! Story tonight on @FOXNashville pic.twitter.com/CVGjWWsONH
— Kathleen Jacob FOX17 (@Kathleenjjacob) September 19, 2019
Urbania is currently awaiting a heart transplant, and after surviving 11 heart attacks, he knows the symptoms of a cardiac event.
“I can tell when they’re coming, especially when you get double heartbeats,” Urbania said.
Urbania was promptly rushed to Williamson Medical Center to undergo testing. Luckily, doctors found no signs of cardiac arrest, but concluded he had still experienced a serious heart-related event.
“I told the lady, ‘Send the bill to my house and we’ll figure it out from there,'” Urbania said.
General Motors recently revoked health insurance benefits for UAW members participating in the GM strike, placing a serious drain on UAW strike funds in the process. Without insurance, Urbania says he won’t be able to accept should he receive a call about an available heart needed for the transplant procedure. The surgery reportedly costs more than $6,000,000.
After being discharged from the hospital, Urbania was back at the picket line Thursday evening. Meanwhile, GM and UAW have yet to hash out a labor contract, as progress is reportedly slow-going.
Source: Fox 17 Nashville