The United Auto Workers is calling for reinforcements in its ongoing battle with Nissan at the manufacturer's Canton, MS factory, where the Altima, Armada, Titan and NV (and eventually, the next Murano) are built. The union has been attempting to organize the employees at the factory for several years, but it's been largely unsuccessful.

Now, Reuters is reporting that the UAW is teaming with the IndustriALL Global Union and requesting intervention by the US State Department, with both groups accusing Nissan of using "threats, intimidation and fear" to keep the 5,600 workers at the facility from organizing. The two unions say this violates the guidelines of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international organization dedicated to stimulating economic growth.

The UAW and IndustriALL are asking the State Department's National Contact Point to serve as mediator with Nissan, to make sure things play out fairly. Speaking to Reuters, though, there's at least one Michigan-based labor adviser that's skeptical of the move.

"I've never heard of this happening before," Arthur Schwartz told Reuters, referring to the State Department mediating a labor dispute. The move to invoke the OECD guidelines was also a surprise, with Schwartz saying he'd never heard of the organization having any "teeth."

Nissan, for its part, seemed to deny the UAW's allegations, say that it leaves union membership up to its employees. It didn't stop there, though, accusing the UAW of violating the very guidelines it's accusing the Nissan of breaking.

"It would be premature to comment on mediation given that the State Department has not yet evaluated the submission and the UAW already has compromised confidentiality provisions of the OECD guidelines," spokesman Justin Saia told Reuters.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      darthjayson
      • 7 Months Ago
      Couldn't possibly be because the workers simply don't want the union forced upon them? Nah.
      brandon
      • 7 Months Ago
      No, the UAW playing dirty, say it isn't so.
      Db
      • 7 Months Ago
      Whatever they blame you of doing... they are doing. That is the way of many politicians and unions.... and most certainly the UAW. How dare they suggest the use of taxpayer money to push their agenda on the workers at the Nissan plant. Listen to me United States State Department... you do not have permission to use my tax dollars to force the UAW agenda on this or ANY plant in the United States. Consider this an order from your boss...a tax paying citizen of the United States of America.
      RGT881
      • 7 Months Ago
      One may approve or disapprove of what UAW stands for, but it's so poorly managed, left hand does not know what the right one is doing and I think there are significant rifts on upper echelons.
      carguy1701
      • 7 Months Ago
      The UAW should focus on their own internal issues first before attempting to recruit new members into what is at present a flawed and unstable organization.
      churchmotor
      • 7 Months Ago
      Nissan should call on the National Guard to protect from the UAW and Obama's State Department.
        imoore
        • 7 Months Ago
        @churchmotor
        The UAW's plot against Nissan has been ongoing since the plant's opening in 2003 - during the Bush Administration. And they asked the State Department for help back then, also. This is just a continuation of the UAW's battle with Nissan since 1982, when Nissan first set up shop in Smyrna, Tennessee. And all during the Reagan, Bush Sr. and Clinton Adminstrations. The State Department turned down the requests back then, also. The UAW needs to stop.
          sloanm101
          • 7 Months Ago
          @imoore
          The dying breaths of the UAW, hopefully...
        The Friendly Grizzly
        • 7 Months Ago
        @churchmotor
        And Obama will federalize the guard right out from under state control. Eisenhower set that precedent.
      thedriveatfive
      • 7 Months Ago
      The UAW served a purpose at one time, however with all the federal protections in place, they have long past there expiration date.
      Mercennarius
      • 7 Months Ago
      "The union has been attempting to organize the employees at the factory for several years, but it's been largely unsuccessful." Wait...so the union can't get enough people to support them so their calling for federal assistance to FORCE a private company to unionize? Wow....unions are such a cancer....
        churchmotor
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Mercennarius
        Remember, Obama promised in his first campaign to paint the USA, SEIU Purple.
      Car Guy
      • 7 Months Ago
      The UAW isn't any different than an organized crime group moving into a neighborhood demanding protection money............
      Rex Monaco
      • 7 Months Ago
      The last desperate gasp of breath for a dying patient. RIP UAW. It won't come soon enough.
      Wisdom Seeker
      • 7 Months Ago
      Not under the purview of the State Department. They need to focus on things they are responsible for, like protecting our Ambassador in Benghazi.
        jase.s
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Wisdom Seeker
        Thank you for bringing politics into an auto enthusiast blog. That's exactly what we need, more garbage not involving cars.
          Pj Taintz
          • 7 Months Ago
          @jase.s
          well to be fair, he is correct. The UAW is attempting to try and use a department of the federal government that should be focused on other issues that have nothing to do with the UAW. frankly, the UAW can suck it, the sooner they die the better off, the org and the people who run it
      OptimusPrimeRib
      • 7 Months Ago
      The UAW needs to die so meaningful unions can get a shot.
        brandon
        • 7 Months Ago
        @OptimusPrimeRib
        This. Not all unions are bad....The UAW however......
    • Load More Comments