CANTON, Miss.–Pressure to unionize the Nissan plant at Canton has been building for at least a year and now union branches in France and Brazil are saying they support the Mississippi plant’s conversion to collective bargaining.
A press conference was held in Paris Tuesday where several French union branches voiced their support for unionizing the Mississippi plant, claiming Nissan is taking a strong anti-union stance and is intimidating employees who are talking about it.
Highlights from the press conference were published on Just-Auto.com. LINK: http://www.just-auto.com/news/french-unions-lend-weight-to-nissan-representation-drive_id139378.aspx
“International labour standards call for non-interference [in union formation] which Nissan clearly continues to do,” UAW director for international affairs, Kristyne Peter, told just-auto from Paris.
“The reason we are here in Paris is because Renault owns 43% of Nissan and Nissan owns 15% of Renault. Renault is a great example of giving workers their labour rights.
“We know citizens of France respect these international rights and we know the French unions support us. [They] want to see rights extended to Renault be extended to Nissan workers, particularly because they have a strategic alliance.”
Nissan has repeatedly said it does not intimidate workers and that they enjoy some of the highest wages and most secure jobs in Mississippi.
Some workers have been on a tour of sorts, presumably on their days off, with the NAACP and the United Auto Workers, telling the media that they have been threatened and that there have been “human rights violations”.
Miss. Gov. Phil Bryant has taken a firm anti-union stance on the matter, saying it affects more than just Nissan.
“That’s a cancer that will kill our opportunities in the auto industry, aerospace industry, the steel industry,” he told News Mississippi. “The industries that are leaving the rust belt and coming from all over the world to the south because of our right-to-work laws will leave.”
Bryant said his administration would do everything possible to keep the union out.
Meanwhile, the push continues with support from U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Bolton) and actor Danny Glover, both who have made appearances with the UAW and Nissan workers, and both who have lent their voices to claims of intimidation and cruelty at the Nissan plant.