Actor Danny Glover on Tuesday morning joined a protest organized by Nissan workers from Mississippi steps away from Cobo Center where the Detroit auto show is being held.
The protesters are part of a group called the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan (MAFFAN) that claims Nissan workers who want to talk about organizing into a union are intimidated by management hints that the plant would close if they unionized.
“When workers at Nissan began to organize a union, Nissan responded with implied threats that they would leave Mississippi if workers unionized,” Rev. R. Isaac Jackson, president of the General Missionary Baptist State Convention of Mississippi and chair of MAFFAN, was quoted as saying by the Detroit News.
The group also stated that salaries and benefits to contract employees at the plant were half of its full-time workers. The UAW is supporting MAFFAN to start a union at the factory, which has 5,000 full and contract laborers.
“The right to work doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to organize. They have unions in South Africa and Japan. We’re only asking for the right to vote on a union and not face intimidation,” Glover said. However, Nissan’s vice president of corporate communications, denied the accusations.
“Those allegations are unfounded. We have a large contingent in our plant who want to make sure the union understands they don’t want a union in our factory,” David Reuter said.