Following this week’s vote against unionization at a Nissan plant in Mississippi, the United Auto Workers (UAW) are asking the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to proceed with a trial looking into Nissan’s unfair treatment of workers, as well as the intimidation tactics it used to discourage employees from unionizing.
More than 60 percent of Nissan workers opposed unionizing at the plant in a vote that took place Thursday and Friday, following years of organizing efforts by the UAW at the plant.
The majority of workers at the plant in Canton, Miss., are African-American, and white supervisors at the plant have been accused of giving preferential treatment to white workers.
Nissan’s practice of hiring contract workers was also a key point in the dispute, with the pro-union movement arguing that the company’s lower compensation for contract workers drove wages down for all employees and left full-time workers without bargaining power.
During the campaign, the anti-union contingent at the plant accused the UAW of disingenuously trying to court black workers by donating to civil rights and religious groups. The UAW countered that it had supported such organizations for decades.
The auto company’s management was aggressive in its campaign to fight unionization. Nissan called workers into meetings with management where they were told that should a worker’s union stage a strike, employees wouldn’t be guaranteed their jobs when they returned.
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