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US Nissan workers seek fair union election

26 November, 2012Launched at the LabourStart conference in Sydney on 26 November, 3,000 workers at Nissan’s assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi, USA are campaigning for a fair union election and an end to Nissan’s fear and intimidation tactics.

Management at Nissan’s plant in Mississippi is running an aggressive and sophisticated anti-union campaign against its employees who are forming a union to achieve a voice in the workplace. Nissan is denying these workers a fair, democratic election, and management has sent a clear message to the workforce that considering a union could cost them their job.

Supported by workers, students, community leaders and human rights activists around the world, the UAW’s LabourStart campaign (http://www.labourstart.org/nissan) calls on Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Toshiyuki Shiga, intervene to make things right in Mississippi.

Speaking at the LabourStart conference, Jeffrey Moore, one of the Mississippi autoworkers said, “Nissan workers are seeking union representation because they want fairness and a chance to be heard.  They are seeking a voice on the job just like their colleagues in Japan and elsewhere.”

For years, Nissan workers in Mississippi have strived for fairness and believe that creating a union is the best, most effective way to work with management to solve problems in the plant. The workers are seeking membership and representation by UAW in discussions with management on:

  • safety problems and work-related injuries
  • the use of labor agencies to recruit, and hire on lower wages and with no path to direct employment.
  • respect from managers in the workplace
  • fairness in the disciplinary process
  • decisions about work process and product improvement
  • equality of wages, policies and benefits between Nissan workers at a sister plant in Tennessee and those in Mississippi

Canton workers also want to help improve the overall rights and working condition of workers in the state of Mississippi.

“At Canton Mississippi, Nissan management is making propaganda against the UAW and intimidating workers depriving them from a free choice. This is an unacceptable and against freedom of association,” said Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union in support of the workers’ campaign.

“UAW has offered Nissan a positive, collaborative approach, but the US management is refusing partnership despite the fact that most of Nissans operations in countries such as Mexico, Spain, UK, Russia, Japan, Australia, South Africa and Thailand are unionized and enjoy constructive labour and management relations,” said Raina.