Will Nissan’s Canton Plant Unionize?
There is a fight being waged in the southern United States that many of us in the North are unaware of. While it’s a given that many manufacturing facilities up north are unionized, the same thing cannot be said of the growing number of car plants in the South. The United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, or UAW for short, is working to change all of that with a campaign to add unions to some of the biggest plants. The latest plant in their sights is the Nissan manufacturing facility in Canton, Mississippi, where eligible employees will vote this Thursday and Friday to decide their future.
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The UAW is pushing hard to unionize this facility after it lost a similar campaign in Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant in 2014, according to the Huffington Post. While Volkswagen decided to not have a stance in the election, Nissan is very vocally opposed to the introduction of a union. Management has been wearing shirts to encourage voting against the UAW, and groups of employees have been pulled off of the floor to talk about the decision and why they should say no. The governor of Mississippi is also on Nissan’s side, making statements against the union in the press.
Nissan’s employees have a rough decision against them. On one hand, unions have had a great role in the history of our country by ensuring living wages and good working conditions for members in various industries. If Nissan plant workers feel mistreated and unheard by management, the union might be their best bet. On the other hand, if the plant does unionize and it drives up costs for Nissan, it is a very real possibility that the automaker could move to save money. Whatever decision Canton makes could set a tone for the rest of the South, with a union win opening the door for the UAW elsewhere and a loss closing it once again in its face.
News Source: Huffington Post