Auto workers and community leaders are again calling on Nissan to allow employees the chance to vote on wether or not to unionize here in Mississippi. MPB's Paul Boger reports workers are using the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to protest what they see as threats and intimidation from Nissan.
[The NAACP is one of the groups calling for a union at the Canton Nissan plant. The organization's president Derrick Johnson says the automaker has used threats to keep workers from organizing.
"Many workers have stated repeatedly that as they support unions they have been brought into meetings one-on-one, or in a small group meeting, and told that if unions come to the plant that the plant would close." said Johnson. "That their support of the unions would retard the progress of the company."
That's why workers from Nissan's Canton Auto Plant stood outside the entrance to the U-S's premier auto show in Detroit yesterday, passing out fliers calling on Nissan to give workers the chance to vote on whether or not they would like to unionize.
Chip Wales works at the Canton plant. He says he just want the chance to vote on the issue.
"I hope things can change to where we can have a fair election, and decide one way or another that we're going to be a unionized plant or a non-unionized plant." said Wales. "Just give us that voice and opportunity to vote, and whoever wins wins. Let be accepted and let us go on as business as usual."
However, fellow Nissan employee Judy Willing says most workers at the plant have no desire to unionize.
"Most people do not." said Willing. "They do not want a union. I've been there almost twelve years and I've never had anything go on that I couldn't just call my manager or walk into HR. HR is always out on the floor. Never seen a reason for anybody to speak for me because they've always had an open door policy."
A statement released by Nissan says allegations being made against the automaker unfounded, and that they respects the rights of their employees to decide who should represent them.