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Striking GM workers unhappy about police patrols in Burton, Swartz Creek

 Police are working added patrols outside GM facilities in Burton and Swartz Creek and billing General Motors for overtime -- much to the chagrin of UAW members.
Police are working added patrols outside GM facilities in Burton and Swartz Creek and billing General Motors for overtime -- much to the chagrin of UAW members. (WJRT)
Published: Oct. 22, 2019 at 6:31 PM EDT
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(10/22/2019) - There has been an increased police presence at some GM facilities, but it's not to keep strikers safe and many are not happy about it.

Police have been a steady presence outside GM facilities in Swartz Creek and Burton. The Metro Police Authority, which patrols Swartz Creek, says officers are making sure semi-trucks can get through the picket lines to make deliveries.

"I think it's very disappointing because we're just trying to stand up for what's right and just and worked hard for," said Sarah Opp, a member of UAW Local 651 in Burton.

Metro Police Authority Chief Matt Bade said officers are placed there during daytime hours when deliveries are supposed to be made by semi truck drivers.

Over the last month, there have been some scuffles between strikers and semi truck drivers, even reports of people getting hit. Bade said the officers help to make sure any deliveries go smoothly.

He said officers specially patrolling the GM facilities accrue overtime and then the department bills GM for the hours. Opp believes that shows police are siding with GM and not the workers.

"They're giving us a hard time for trying to stall the trucks for the minute that we can," she said. "They're not out here protecting us, people have gotten hit and they didn't get a police report or nothing."

The Burton Police Department and mayor's office did not return messages seeking comment on the city's patrols outside the GM parts warehouse at Genesee and Davison roads.

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