Bernie Sanders Joins Campaign To Union Nissan Plant

For roughly a decade, the United Auto Workers Labor Union has been trying to organize a Nissan Motor Co plant in Mississippi, but with great resistance.  Senator Bernie Sanders, though, has said he will personally deliver a letter to the automaker, requesting they drop their opposition to the union.

The United Auto Workers’ decade-long drive to organize a Nissan Motor Co. plant has found a supporter in Senator Bernie Sanders, who plans to hand-deliver a letter urging the automaker to drop its opposition to the union at the Mississippi site. The anti-union pressures they face at this plant might just be the worst of any workplace across the country.

In a telephone interview, Friday, Sanders commented, “These workers have shown incredible courage in standing up and fighting back, and they deserve my support — and I think they deserve support from progressives all across this country.”

And so, the Vermont senator says he will deliver the letter addressed to Jose Munoz, the chairman of Nissan’s North American unit, on Saturday after an organized march to the automaker’s Canton plant. Signers of this petition, including one Danny Glover, make reference, in the letter, to a 2015 National Labor Relations Board complaint which had originally alleged the anti-union conduct by the Nissan management team as well as several recent occupational safety citations.

The letter Sanders is delivering reads: “We believe that Nissan employees in Canton deserve better — and that workers’ rights are civil rights. We look forward to the courtesy of a response.”

Unfortunately, this mobilization is only the latest in a series of many steps by the UAW at that facility—located in the still mostly non-unionized US South—that continues to meet great resistance.

Nissan has, of course, responded. For one, the company has been holding mandatory anti-union meetings for all of its employees. Nissan also denies the 2015 NLRB complaint which claims that management had illegally threatened to release some employees or close the plant should they join the UAW labor union.

In an email, Nissan spokesman Brian Brockman explains, “The allegations made by the union are totally false. Nissan respects and values the Canton workforce, and our history reflects that we recognize the employees’ rights to decide for themselves whether or not to have third-party representation.”

About the Author

Orville Tucker
I have a Bachelor in Marketing Management from Utrecht (the Netherlands) and have a lot of working experience with international companies. My english skills are excellent and I have extensive knowledge in the filed of marketing – external communication (press releases, company presentation) – internal communication (newsletter, company magazine) event planning, and project management.

1 Comment on "Bernie Sanders Joins Campaign To Union Nissan Plant"

  1. MLK was adamant about the fact that all Civil Rights flowed from Economic Rights, and specifically Workers’ Rights. We must remember that King’s last great undertaking was what he called a “Poor People’s Campaign” – because King realised that without economic justice there can be no social justice. It was on the eve of the planned Poor People’s March on Washington that King was assassinated. Everyone remembers that he was shot in Memphis, but few remember what he was doing there. King was in Memphis to support the striking Memphis Sanitation Workers, who were locked in a struggle for better working conditions and higher wages.

    Indeed, it was in Memphis, in support of those workers, that King delivered one of his most memorable speeches: “I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land”. These words were spoken not in the context of a race-based civil rights march, but on a broad-based economic struggle to support and protect workers in Memphis. When he spoke of “we, as a people” he meant poor people, working people.

    Bernie Sanders marched with MLK. He knew what King stood for, and he has taken King’s message to heart. Like King, Bernie Sanders realises that Civil Rights and Social Justice are all built upon a foundation of Economic Justice and Workers’ Rights.

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