A UAW member was fatally struck by a vehicle near the General Motors assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., on Tuesday, less than a week after the UAW-GM council voted to extend the union's strike against the automaker.
Roy McCombs was either picketing or walking to the picket line near the plant, according to a person with knowledge of the accident. Authorities could not immediately confirm whether the man was picketing. The accident investigation is continuing.
Last week, the GM-UAW council voted to extend the union's strike as more than 46,000 UAW members this week vote on a tentative labor contract with GM. Tuesday marks the 37th day of the UAW's national strike against the automaker.
"On behalf of the UAW, we offer condolences to Brother McCombs and family, friends and co-workers," UAW President Gary Jones said in a statement. "Today's accident is heartbreaking for UAW Spring Hill members. We will continue to work to ensure that safety is a priority on the picket line."
GM said that the accident occurred on a public road near the plant's south entrance.
"We offer our thoughts and prayers to the employee's family and all who are impacted by this tragedy. General Motors is committed to employee safety and plant leadership is working closely with authorities to investigate and understand what happened," the company said in a statement.
So far, members at Spring Hill, Toledo Transmission in Ohio and Warren Tech Center and Saginaw Metal Casting in Michigan have voted on the tentative labor contract. Workers at Spring Hill voted it down, while workers in Toledo, Saginaw and Warren approved it.
Voting for all plants is expected to wrap up Friday afternoon.