DETROIT (AP) — General Motors now says striking workers will get company-paid health insurance, nine days after saying coverage would be cut off.

The company says in an email to the United Auto Workers union that it will keep benefits in place due to significant confusion among members. The letter says employee health and well-being are GM's top priorities.

Workers howled and politicians criticized GM after the company said it would end benefits the day after the strike began Sept. 16.

It's standard procedure for health care costs to shift to the union in a strike. The United Auto Workers' website says the union would pick up the cost of premiums.

The strike by about 49,000 factory workers has shut down production at more than 30 GM factories. Talks continued Thursday.

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