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UAW President Shawn Fain addresses violence against autoworkers on the picket line

UAW workers react to President Joe Biden's visit
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(CBS DETROIT) - UAW President Shawn Fain released a video update on Thursday addressing violence toward autoworkers on the picket line as the union strikes against the Big Three. 

In the update on Thursday, Sept. 28, Fain claims there have been reports of violence against workers on the picket line in Michigan, Massachusetts and California. 

On Tuesday, Sept. 26, five people picketing were struck by a vehicle at the General Motors Flint Processing Center in Swartz Creek. 

Authorities say an employee was trying to leave the plant when they struck the union members. 

In response to the video, Stellantis released the following statement: 

"We are appalled by the UAW's characterization of the incidents occurring on the picket lines. Since the UAW expanded its strike to our parts distribution centers last Friday, we've witnessed an escalation of dangerous, and even violent, behavior by UAW picketers at several of those facilities, including slashing truck tires, jumping on vehicles, following people home and hurling racial slurs at dedicated Stellantis employees who are merely crossing the picket line to do their jobs. The fact is, Stellantis has not hired any outside replacement workers, who Shawn Fain calls "scabs". Only current employees who are protecting our business and third parties making pick-ups and deliveries as they normally would are entering our facilities.

The top levels of the UAW are aware of all this, yet Shawn Fain decided to make misleading and inflammatory statements, which will serve only to escalate the situation. We are extremely disappointed in the UAW leadership's lack of ownership in this area, and we call on Shawn Fain and the entire UAW leadership to do its part to help ensure the safety of all Stellantis employees, including those on the picket line.

Words matter. The deliberate use of inflammatory and violent rhetoric is dangerous and needs to stop. The companies are not "the enemy" and we are not at "war". We respect our employees' right to advocate for their position, including their right to peacefully picket. But the violence must stop. We have put a record offer on the table and are working hard to reach an agreement as quickly as possible, which will enable us to go back to work... together. Let's make every effort to de-escalate our words and our actions until then."

On Friday, Sept. 29, at 10 a.m., Fain will do another Facebook Live update, and is expected to announce additional strike targets. 

CBS News Detroit will have live coverage of the announcement, along with expert analysis and the latest news from the picket line.

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