UAW accuses Nissan of threatening to close Canton, Mississippi plant

Article by Anita Panait, on February 14, 2013

The United Auto Workers (UAW) has accused Nissan Motor Co. of threatening its US workers that it would close its Canton plant in Mississippi if the union gets in. Bob King, UAW president, told Bloomberg News that Nissan’s American management is lying to the workers, remarking that it is violating workers' rights every day.

The UAW is trying for the third time to organize Nissan workers, after failing twice to win votes to represent workers at the Japanese carmaker’s Smyrna plant in Tennessee. King also failed to meet a self-imposed deadline to organize a so-called transplant by the end of 2011. The union’s president told Bloomberg that the UAW is holding very aggressive campaigns at a transnational level.

He added that getting to represent Nissan’s workers is the key for the long-term success and security of the UAW membership. Membership at the UAW has dropped by three-quarters since 1979. Nissan, however, denied making threats to close its Mississippi site, where it hired 1,000 workers in 2012.

The over 5,000-strong Canton plant produces the Altima sedan, Titan pickup and Armada sport-utility vehicle, as well as the NV commercial van. Nissan disclosed in 2012 that it was adding production of the Sentra sedan, Frontier pickup and Xterra SUV at the plant.

The carmaker will also add the Murano SUV in 2014. Camille Young, a spokeswoman for Nissan's Canton plant, told Bloomberg News in an e-mail that threats of job loss are not part of their communications with employees, adding that intimidation of any kind will never be tolerated.

Topics: nissan, uaw

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