Is one of the biggest automakers in the world using intimidation to threaten employees in the U.S.? If you ask the workers at the plant in Canton, Mississippi, the answer is yes! The claims revolve around voting to unionize at the plant. According to workers there, the company constantly tells them negative things surrounding a vote to unionize. Seems they have many people on their side as well. Read more after the jump.
The group of employees has gathered a rather large amount of support. A press conference was held across the street from the Detroit Auto Show to help spread the word of what is going on. Danny Glover, the star of the Lethal Weapon movies was on hand to speak his mind on the situation, as well as a senator from the state of Mississippi, the president of the NAACP’s state of Mississippi chapter and others. The group refers to themselves as the “Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan”. Some of the 5,000 people who work there say that management is constantly gathering groups of employees at a time and having meetings to show them videos of car plants in Detroit in the past that have closed. Morris Mock, an employee at the plant for over 10 years was quoted as saying “”They tell us that if we get a union, this may happen to you,…If you want a union, move to Detroit.” Mock said that he was personally told by one manager that he would be fired if he supported a union. Workers also say any employee who gets hurt, is forced to see a doctor referred by Nissan first, and usually are forced to return to work before being completely healed. If these statements hold any truths then Nissan should be ready for one hell of a negative publicity campaign.
Nissan countered by saying the UAW, United auto workers union is somewhat responsible for some of these remarks and accusations. They say anytime a union election was held at other Nissan plants the vote was overwhelmingly against the union. Dave Rueter, VP of communications for Nissan told Patrick George of Jalopnik that “No intimidation of any kind will be tolerated from anyone in our company.” Employees at the plant however do not seem to buy it. They claim to want fair wages and more security within the job, which is something every decent hard working American wants. So far however a vote on unions at the Canton plant has still not been held and employees say the intimidation continues. Obviously there could be some truth to their side, or both sides, we shall see how it develops.