The United Auto Workers continues to pursue the unionization of a foreign automaker's plant in the U.S. and has redoubled its efforts on the Nissan facility in Canton, Mississippi. According to Reuters, the union plans to paint the organization effort as "the civil rights battle of the 21st century." Gary Casteel, one of the UAW's highest-ranking officials in the South has been quoted as saying the civil rights experience was fought in Mississippi. Since 70 percent of the Canton workforce is black, the UAW hopes the civil rights card will bring more votes toward unionization.

It's unclear whether the tactic will resonate with workers as the UAW has had little luck getting a foreign-owned plant to organize over the past 30 years. The union has pressed Nissan especially hard by attempting to unionize the company's Smyrna, Tennessee plant twice. Workers voted against the move both times. UAW President Bob King says that his organization needs to incorporate foreign-owned plants if it intends to survive. The UAW has seen membership slide off to a quarter of its numbers in 1979.

The Canton plant employs 3,900 workers and will soon be home to the next-generation Sentra. According to the Reuters report, the average full-time worker there earns $59,600 per year, with five hours of overtime per week. Veteran UAW workers, meanwhile, bring home $69,500 per year.


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  • 101 Comments
      throwback
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Since 70 percent of the Canton workforce is black, the UAW hopes the civil rights card will bring more votes toward unionization." Seriously, that's their pitch? Just goes to show what they think of the workers at the plant.
      Mr E
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ridiculous. Also, so the comparison is between an "average" non-union worker vs a "veteran" UAW worker, with the UAW one bringing home just a hair under $10k more? That's not very impressive on the UAW's part, assuming "average" includes varying seniority levels, and depending on what they consider a "veteran". Nissan seems to be doing a fine job on their own. Then this gem... "UAW President Bob King says that his organization needs to incorporate foreign-owned plants if it intends to survive."... yep, let's hope they vote "no", and maybe this can finally come true.
      telm12345
      • 3 Years Ago
      "I know! Everyone is happy, so lets meddle in it because otherwise we don't have a job! Yes! It's perfect! It worked out so well with Detroit, it'll be fantastic!" This BS should be ILLEGAL! You want jobs to go overseas? Here you go! No intelligent business owner will keep jobs in the US if they have to deal with the UAW.
      mchlrus1
      • 3 Years Ago
      "UAW President Bob King says that his organization needs to incorporate foreign-owned plants if it intends to survive." So he is even stating that this is for the UAW's benefit...Let people do what they want. Smyrna clearly does not want UAW "help," so lay off.
      icon149
      • 3 Years Ago
      did they really compare a "veteran" salary to an "average wage". No offense but cherry picking a salary from folks with seniority and lots of years at a plant, and comparing it to an average of all wages in another plant is like comparing apples and banana's especially when you don't mention what the typical overtime is for someone who has more seniority and therefore more opportunities for overtime, more likely to be a lead person or other responsibilities. and I'll bet the cost of living in Mississippi is lower than in the typical state/city with a Unionized factory. comparing apples and banana's... UAW needs to implode... quickly.
      WetDogSmell
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder how an ACTUAL Nissan plant employee would feel about this...
        Benjamin Roethig
        • 3 Years Ago
        @WetDogSmell
        I don't think they'd care about what the actual worker thinks. This is about money and power. The UAW has almost become what it was created to protect workers against.
          Proghog
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Benjamin Roethig
          That is what most if not all unions are now.
      Britt Benston
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can't believe I'm actually reading this correctly. They're using the civil rights movement as a tactic? Perhaps the most important cultural movement of modern times has been relegated to a weapon in a spin doctor's arsenal? The UAW is trying to manipulate a race group thinking they have some pied piper magic. Disgusting.
      Ron
      • 3 Years Ago
      UAW = Fail
      Mike
      • 3 Years Ago
      UAW President Bob King says that his organization needs to incorporate foreign-owned plants if it intends to survive So the UAW Might implode?!! TERRIFIC! Glad to see the auto mafia might be done for!
        imoore
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mike
        You mean King Bob, the corporate monarch who's interested in the well being of his subjects--as long as it contributes to his pockets and grasp for power. Deny him, and he'll declare war on you until you submit to his will.
          TelegramSam
          • 3 Years Ago
          @imoore
          Bob King makes $120k a year. Not a bad salary, but doesn't buy you much power.
      chest rockwell
      • 3 Years Ago
      Average pay of ~$60K/year in Canton, Mississippi?!?! That's darn good pay for that part of the country - no wonder they don't want the UAW!
      car-a-holic
      • 3 Years Ago
      So..... Your all anti union? You owe your middle class existence of modern society to the union. If your not a millionaire; your just drinking the cool aid. Your not one of them; yes I mean you mr I make 150-300k a year. Your still a middle class nobody. If those workers don't want it then they can vote it down. Good for them. Don't pan union brass and then slam the point of the unions. The unions Brass has done wrong. A nice conversation can be made about that. But if your jealous about union compensation... Don't be a hater an enable the " haves" to gut the have nots and hurry the great race to the bottom.
        nsxrules
        • 3 Years Ago
        @car-a-holic
        Actually If unions had ceased to exist 10 years after they started (when they were needed) we would all be making a much better living today. Unions have crippled industries for decades and are responsible for outsourcing.
        Ducman69
        • 3 Years Ago
        @car-a-holic
        Are you kidding me? The UAW is a leach and burden to the middle-class of America. Nepotism is absolutely rife in the UAW, where to get one of these overpaid jobs wih wages gained by mafia tactics (not just against the business but to ensure all employees fall in line too) you have to be the son or a friend of a current member rather than the most qualified applicant. They hurt domestic industry which places a burden on all of us, from engineers to parts suppliers to all the jobs a growing successful industry would fertilize, and also raises the price of goods for those of us that buy domestic to pay for their low-quality, low-efficiency, overpaid labor. And the sad part of all of this is that once the mafia UAW sinks their teeth in, employees really don't have an option but to shut up and pay up.
        carguy1701
        • 3 Years Ago
        @car-a-holic
        I'm not so much anti-union as I am anti-UAW leadership. I imagine that the UAW rank-and-file, for the most part, are decent people, but the leadership (in particular Robert King), need to go ,and soon, before the UAW becomes irrelevant by its own hand.
        carguy1701
        • 3 Years Ago
        @car-a-holic
        Also, this has NOTHING to do with civil rights. Remember when Bob King made that comment about workers in the transplant assembly plants not being able to organize 'a human rights violation'? I can think of refugees from several African countries, as well as anyone who lived under a dictatorship, who would gladly disagree with that statement.
      Proghog
      • 3 Years Ago
      Let UAW die all's they do is look out for number 1 aka themselves and not the employees of the factories.
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