Nissan workers in Mississippi reject bid to unionize

Aug. 5 (UPI) — Nissan factory workers in Mississippi this week overwhelmingly struck down a bid to join the United Auto Workers union, capping a years-long campaign that drew national attention.

Roughly 3,500 workers in the Canton, Miss., automobile plant rejected the measure by a 63-37 percent margin, USA Today Network reported.

The campaign had been especially contentious. Some claimed Nissan intimidated its workers to vote against unionization and others said managers at the plant have given preferential treatment to white employees. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and actor Danny Glover had traveled to Canton in support of the unionization effort.

It marks the latest unsuccessful push to unionize workers in the south — long a region where such bids fail to materialize.

The New York Times reported that longtime employees at the plant, whose workforce is mostly African-American, make considerably higher hourly wages than the median rate in Mississippi.

The UAW has already filed charges of unfair labor practices against Nissan since voting began this week. The charges could result in a new campaign and election, but Nissan defended the validity of the campaign and final vote.

“Filing unfair labor practice charges is a common tactic used by unions in an organizing campaign,” Nissan said in a statement. “The UAW is again launching baseless and unsubstantiated allegations against Nissan Canton in a desperate, last-minute attempt to undermine the integrity of the secret ballot voting process.”

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