Earlier, this month long time New York Times labor reporter and Payday Senior Labor Reporter Mike Elk sat down with Rose Augilar of the local NPR affiliate KALW to to talk about the struggles of the labor press.
In interviews with workers, it has become clear that Nissan promoted hundreds of temporary workers to full-time “pathway” status in the months leading up to the union election. Many workers complain that the new “pathway” employees were tough to organize since many of the workers felt a debt of gratitude to management for promoting them.
“If you are just wearing the shirt, the UAW shirt or just a union shirt, to me that’s protection,” says Hathorn. “Right now, there is no protection, you know, but with the union involved, you have way more protection than what you are getting.”
“[Nissan] is going to play this nice guy role for about 3-6 months…then everything will go back to normal,” says Nissan worker Robert Hathorn. “Then, the same people who voted against us are gonna be the same ones leading the campaign more than we are.”
“We will win someday because the bosses can never take away the happiness that we feel here,” says Paulo Pissinini, a Renault Nissan union activists from Curitiba, Brazil. “They can never take over our happiness”.
“They don’t understand that they are the union,” said worker Michael Carter. “There is not a third party coming in there, the union is already in there, and that’s what we gotta make them understand, that they are the union.”
Nissan workers Robert Hathorn and Calvin Moore discuss how workers are struggling with one-on-one anti-union meetings and the culture of workplace organizing in Canton, Miss.
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The NLRB also found that a supervisor at the plant told workers that if they spoke out against the union, he would personally ensure that they received increased wages and benefits.
“I also think and have confidence in that workers are much more clever than that” says Figgers. “They have been experiencing all these things for a number of years”.
On it way to Canton, Mississippi to cover the historic union election at Nissan, Payday Report’s car “The Judge Hanson” blew out a tire. Due to the generous donations of our readers, we were able to get it fixed and back on the road.
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