Historically, automotive plants in the South have been impervious to efforts by organization drives by the United Auto Workers. In 2001, the UAW was rejected two-to-one by Nissan workers at its Smyrna, Tenn. plant. And in 2005 and 2007, the UAW failed to get enough interest at Nissan's plant in Canton, Miss.

But the UAW is reportedly ready to give it a go again in Canton. Union officials say the group has been discussing the possibility with workers there, and reactions are not all positive. UAW President Bob King says Nissan officials have been actively trying to dissuade its Canton employees from cooperating with the union by using scare tactics.

"Fear and intimidation should not be part of the equation when workers are deciding whether they want to be represented by the union," King is quoted saying in the Reuters article. "Workers should be able to hear equally from both sides and make a decision for themselves."

In Nissan's defense, a company spokesman says the accusations of intimidation are not true.

If it is to succeed in Canton, the UAW will need to win over the workers, but to do so, it will likely have to overcome Nissan's apparent objections as well as the anti-union attitudes of politicians. Miss. Gov. Ken Bryant has in the past said "he would step in if the UAW tried to organize a plant in the state," Reuters reports.

Nissan's Canton plant builds five models, including the 2013 Altima, which has just entered production last week.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 76 Comments
      rlog100
      • 2 Years Ago
      The UAW has never seriously pursued unionization outside of the Big 3. This is a show for the Big 3 workers and not a serious attempt.
      Chad Larson
      • 2 Years Ago
      Phil Bryant is the governor's name, not Ken Bryant.
      DeathKnoT
      • 2 Years Ago
      What is the point. I thought Mississippi is a right to work state? So even if it was unionized no one is obliged to join, and don't have to pay the dues. I wish we had that choice here in CT. I like having the opportunity to choose.
      Concrete
      • 2 Years Ago
      Look at how badly UAW built vehicles depreciate in the USA compared to their American grown import competitors. I think the employee's at Nissan's Canton plant are pretty smart and not the "dumb southern hicks" I've hear them referred to as by some UAW people here in NY.
      Austin
      • 2 Years Ago
      The governor of Mississippi is Dewey Phillip "Phil" Bryant. Not too sure who Ken Bryant is...
      Eidolon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Stating that unionization will have an impact on the plant's ability to hire and keep workers isn't scare tactics, it's the truth. I still don't understand why unions are regarded as the protectors of the welfare of the middle class. Unions do their thing either by requiring membership for employment and then restricting membership to keep wages artificially high; or else they force wages to remain artificially high, which increases the cost of labor, which means that the amount of labor hired must be reduced and/or replaced with automated machinery. In short, labor unions are, by design, a scheme that denies the benefits of employment to a broad audience to benefit a few. Am I denying that labor unions have benefits? Not at all. Inasmuch as they serve to collectivize and disseminate valuable skills, and so serve as a meaningful stamp of approval for the skills of its workers, a union can be highly useful. Being a member becomes a certification in your field. But this tripe that, without unions, the middle class is lost and hopeless is hogwash because unions do not exist to ensure maximum employment for all. And negotiating helpful benefits for a select group - your members - does NOT make you the protector of an entire income group.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      ELG
      • 2 Years Ago
      a UNION is accusing someone else of using intimidation and scare tactics. thats rich
      Maxximtl
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Fear and intimidation should not be part of the equation......" Riiight. Because the UAW doesn't know anything about manipulating its members.
        yyz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Maxximtl
        Damn, you beat me to it. I was going to say the same thing.
      foci
      • 2 Years Ago
      What does the UAW have to offer? One more avenue for a persons paycheck to become smaller without anything in return.
        TelegramSam
        • 2 Years Ago
        @foci
        That's certainly an interesting way to look at it. Do they not negotiate wage increases and improved benefits and working conditions for workers?
          IBx27
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TelegramSam
          Workplace conditions? Have you been frozen in time for the past 90 years? As if we're still sending children inside machines to fix them; most of the assembly is automated today and we're just paying these guys to push the button.
          Zoom
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TelegramSam
          Yes they do. But conservatives don't care about working conditions. Only about CEO's paychecks (increasing).
          yyz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TelegramSam
          They also negotiate drunken lunch hours. When that lunch bell rings, it's party time!
          straferhoo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TelegramSam
          Why? So Nissan can move the production to Mexico?
          foci
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TelegramSam
          I have know issue with this point. However I do have issues with the sense of entitlement some union officials and work display. The hourly wages and benefits paid for semi skilled labor is incredible. Remember the only reason the union pushes for the higher wages is the fact they benefit more than the workers.
      Zoom
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Miss. Gov. Ken Bryant has in the past said "he would step in if the UAW tried to organize a plant in the state," Reuters reports." Sounds like he's on the side of the CEOs and not the workers. Who's the thug?
        straferhoo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Zoom
        No, he doesn't want Nissan to pack up and move to Mexico.
        Jim R
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Zoom
        Still the union. Because guess what? If the workers at Nissan unionize, Nissan will close the plant and move the jobs to Mexico, where they don't have unions. Foreign automakers saw firsthand what the UAW did to Ford, GM and Chrysler and are determined to avoid that happening to them--at any cost.
        Zoom
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Zoom
        The solution is not to try and match the lowest common denominator. That's like saying let's lower our teaching standards because the dumbest kid in the class is failing. Let's bring 'em all down. Instead we should impose tariffs on imported goods from countries that don't meet our standards. Period. Free trade is only "free" if you don't like actually making anything. Our country is F*ed.
      Change
      • 2 Years Ago
      One scare tactic used by Canton is to show the workers video and pictures of Detroit and all the shuttered auto plants in the metro area. Picture is worth a 1000 words, no?
        rlog100
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Change
        No. Those places became like that in the late 70's when UAW membership was still at its peak. The Auto workers had moved out. Detroit is the product of other forces. And I'm getting tired of it being used incorrectly as prop.
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