Watch: Nissan Workers Plan to Push Back Following Loss

(Emre Yagci)


Following an ugly campaign, Nissan workers in Canton, Mississippi, lost a historic union election by a margin of 2,244 to 1,307 last week.

Workers say that they aren’t giving up in their attempts to organize. The union immediately pledged to challenge the results at the National Labor Relations Board.

Late last month, the NLRB charged Nissan with illegally threatening workers and bribing workers to vote against the union. On the day of the election, the UAW filed seven more unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB. If the federal body decides that Nissan broke the law, it could order another election within six months.

Workers say that during the next 6 months the union will have to prove the promises made by the company to stop the union drive were empty.

“[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.”

They say that despite not having a union, workers will have to continue to advocate for small everyday changes. Doing so they say will prove necessary to show that the union, not Nissan, truly has workers’ interests at heart.

“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.”

The odds are long, but workers say they are ready to push again.

“We are gonna get a lot of people laughing at us, tell us we told you so,” says UAW activist Betty Jones. “I’m used to that, I’ve been dealing with that for years.”

“People throw stones especially when you organize something. So you have to be a strong person in order to do this and my co-workers who surround me are strong people” says Jones.

Watch as Payday Report and Real News team up to cover how Nissan Workers plan to push back as they continue to organize at Nissan in Canton, Mississippi.

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About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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