Danny Glover and Bernie Sanders seek France’s help after Nissan union vote

Payday Senior Labor Reporter Mike Elk has stayed hot on the trial of Nissan following the defeat of the UAW earlier this month. His latest dispatch for The Guardian looks at how the French government could step in to help workers get another election:

Nissan and France’s Renault share a deep alliance, with each company owning shares in the other and sharing a chief executive officer, Carlos Ghosn. The French government owns a close to 20% stake in Renault.

Glover, most famous for roles in the Lethal Weapon series and The Color Purple, is a longtime activist and supporter of the UAW and its fight to unionize in the US south. He and Sanders intend to lobby the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to push for a second vote.

“He would protect the rights of workers in France with respect to Nissan,” Glover told the Guardian. “He would protect the rights for those workers, so why wouldn’t he protect the rights of workers in the United States, as well as particularly in the south?”

Nissan operates 45 auto plants around the globe. The only ones without union representation are in the southern US.

Glover has traveled multiple times with Nissan workers to meet with members of the French parliament. He says he is prepared to travel all over the world to lead a global campaign to put pressure on Nissan.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed charges against Nissan, accusing the company of bribery and intimidation during the ballot. Company managers held one-on-one meetings with workers to press for a no vote.

Glover said it was time for Macron to speak up. “Will he stand up and look us in the eye and tell us the truth that this was an unfair situation for workers, that this was an unfair election?” said Glover.

Go to The Guardian to read the full dispatch.

About the Author

Mike Elk
A Sidney-award winning labor reporter, Mike Elk is the founder of Payday Report and also covers labor and immigration for The Guardian. In 2015, he was illegally fired for union organizing as Politico’s senior labor reporter and used his $70,000 NLRB settlement to start Payday. The son of United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh He can be reached at Melk@PaydayReport.com

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