5 picketing UAW members recovering after being hit by car

A union official said the vehicle hit the strikers and took off.
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 7:20 AM EDT
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SWARTZ CREEK, Mich. (WNEM/Gray News) - Five picketing United Auto Workers members are recovering after being hit by a car around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

“These people are just making a living and want a little bigger piece of the pie and this happens. It’s very disturbing,” UAW Region 1D Director Steve Dawes said.

The incident happened near the General Motors Flint Processing Center in Swartz Creek.

“Three people in a either a dark blue or a black HHR or possibly PT Cruiser came out of the building, out 70 yards and was driving at a high rate of speed, hit their brake real quick and kept going,” Dawes said. “Ran over five people and sent two to the hospital and three with other injuries.”

Employees from the plant were trying to leave, and picketers were blocking the driveway, according to Metro Police Chief Matt Bades. UAW leadership said that was not the case and believed the driver intentionally struck their members.

“We’re, you know, doing a very peaceful legal demonstration, wasn’t bothering nobody, wasn’t blocking traffic, was allowing people to come in and out, the ones that had to come in,” Dawes said. “There was no sense, no cause for this to happen.”

This comes a few days after a fight broke out at the picket line in Center Line, where a man driving by allegedly shouted racial slurs and insults. A woman in the same vehicle threw a drink.

“Whenever you have a cross section of society, you have people that have issues. And unfortunately, they made some very serious bad mistakes today, and justice will prevail,” said Dawes.

As part of their investigation, police are working to collect video of what happened.

“I just hope that these people turn themselves in. They’re in enough trouble. They don’t need to be running from the police,” said Dawes.

UAW leadership said that this incident will not stop strikers from picketing to get what they deserve.