Nissan Workers in Mississippi Reject Union Bid by UAW

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In this April 6, 2016, file photograph, vehicles are suspended above other installation stations as they are moved along the assembly line at the Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Canton, Mississippi. A bid by workers at Mississippi's Nissan Motor Co. plant for United Auto Workers representation could turn on a key voting bloc: the 1,500 Nissan employees who were initially hired through contract labor agencies. (AP Photo/Rogelio Solis, File)

Reprinted from The New York Times by  on August 5, 2017.

In a test of labor’s ability to expand its reach in the South, workers at a Nissan plant in Mississippi overwhelmingly rejected a bid to unionize, an election that the union quickly criticized.

Out of roughly 3,500 employees at the Canton-based plant who voted Thursday and Friday, more than 60 percent opposed the union. It was an emphatic coda to a yearslong organizing effort underwritten by the United Automobile Workers, which has been repeatedly frustrated in its efforts to organize auto plants in the region.

The union accused the company of waging an unusually aggressive fight against the organizing effort. “Perhaps recognizing they couldn’t keep their workers from joining our union based on the facts, Nissan and its anti-worker allies ran a vicious campaign against its own work force that was comprised of intense scare tactics, misinformation and intimidation,” Dennis Williams, the UAW president, said in a statement after the vote.

The company said its employees had spoken and urged the UAW to “respect and abide by their decision and cease their efforts to divide our Nissan family.” …

NY Times 8/5

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at

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