As the United Auto Workers and General Motors continue to work on putting together a new labor contract, picket lines in the GM strike have become contentious, as striking workers attempt to stop delivery truck drivers from crossing picket lines.
On Tuesday, police in Flint Michigan were called to local picket lines as strikers physically blocked delivery roads with their bodies. It’s not clear what was actually in the trucks headed to the GM production facilities.
According to Metro Police Authority Lt. Joel Grahn, authorities have received seven calls pertaining to the GM strike in the last several days.
“There’s been three to four … personal injury accidents,” Grahn told mlive.com. “Our officers get there and every single time no medical attention is requested. Their union is requesting a police report.”
Grahn also acknowledged the local ordinances that address inference in “an ingress or egress of a driveway for business use to not disrupt normal business, but we understand the bigger picture here.”
Burton Police Chief Mike Odette told mlive.com about one striker who was “face-to-face with the grille of a semi-truck.”
As UAW members continue the GM strike, truck drivers have been forced to park along the sides of the road, resulting in a build up in traffic.
“The problem is we had semi-trucks backed up a quarter of a mile and they were refusing to allow them in which is causing a public hazard on the roadway and putting themselves in danger,” Odette said.
Speaking to an on-site UAW coordinator, Odette said that “we’re not looking to stop you guys from picketing. We just want to make sure you guys are doing it safely.”
As the GM strike continues into its third day, UAW members aren’t budging.
“We did a lot for GM when they went into bankruptcy,” said retired GM employee Roxanne Williams, who reportedly moved to block a truck attempting to cross the picket line. “Retirees and workers, we sacrificed to give to them. It’s only right that they sacrifice and give back.”
Two people were reportedly handcuffed and temporarily detained in the back of police cruisers during the strike. No arrests were made.