A Tennessee court granted General Motors’ request for a restraining order on Sunday, which prevents UAW strikers from blocking access to the Spring Hill Assembly plant. The court oder will remain in effect until until October 8th.
It’s the latest development in an increasingly hostile showdown between the United Auto Workers labor union and General Motors. As representatives work to hash out a new labor contract, UAW members have formed picket lines at various GM facilities across the nation. The GM strike at the Spring Hill, Tennessee facility has been particularly contentious, with multiple arrests already on record.
GM issued a statement on the restraining order, saying, “We recognize the right of our employees to engage in lawful protests during the strike, but the safety and security of the public and our employees are our highest priority. After dialogue failed to stop the incidents of harassment, violence and vandalism by a few people, we had to take necessary actions to protect everyone involved.”
The restraining order aims to keep strikers from blocking entry into the plant, including obstruction of roadways, detaining vehicles, and “assaulting, intimidating, falsely imprisoning, harassing or destroying the property of GM employees.”
In response, the UAW also released a statement, saying, “UAW members, their families, friends and neighbors are peacefully exercising their right to picket in support of the union’s strike for better wages, quality affordable health care and job security. We are committed to conducting all strike-related activities safely and lawfully. And we will continue to work with law enforcement as issues arise.”
So far, one worker was hospitalized after a van swerved into the picket line at the Spring Hill GM strike, and there have been reports of damaged property as well.
Teamster drivers are honoring the picket lines, but non-Teamster drivers are continuing deliveries, leading to flare-ups with UAW members holding the GM strike picket lines.
Roughly 3,300 UAW members working at the Tennessee plant are on strike, with roughly 50,000 UAW members on strike around the country.
The latest GM strike was staged following a breakdown in contract negotiations last week. This is the eighth day of the walkout, with no concrete evidence of a resolution in sight.