The struggle to unionize the Nissan Canton Plant could be close to a vote among the rank and file.
Nissan workers and supporters are at the United Auto Workers' Union office in Canton, to celebrate filing a petition with the National Labor Relations Board. They want to hold an election to unionize the plant. They needed 30 percent of the workforce to sign a petition. Organizers say they have more than that and have submitted signed union cards as additional proof. Employees say they want fair wages, safe working conditions and better benefits. Nissan's Rahmeel Nash has worked at the plant for 14 years.
"The only thing that we want is the opportunity to have a fair election. Get us a contract where we can negotiate with the company, so we can negotiate our safety, our benefits and our pay. That's all we ask," said Nash.
Nash says they're frustrated with Nissan hiring temporary workers and keeping them on the job for four or more years without a fair system to make them company employees. Workers say Nissan has presented videos threatening to close the plant if it's unionized and has sent mailings out saying a union is not in their best interest. Travis Parks, a Nissan technician, is urging workers to vote.
"These are your rights. Don't let this slide by and decide I'm not going to get involved, I'm going to let them decide it. It's time for us to step forward and let our voices be heard," said Parks.
In a statement Nissan says it's up to employees to choose who can represent them but the company doesn't believe UAW representation is in the best interest of Nissan and its workers. The petition seeks a vote July 31 and August 1. But the National Labor Relations Board will set the date, if it certifies the petition.