UAW met with Nissan workers in Tennessee to convince them to unionize image

Workers from the Nissan Motor Company auto plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, met with UAW representatives to discuss about organizing at the Japanese automaker’s first U.S. factory.

United Auto Workers is now actively trying to organize workers at two of Nissan’s plants, as talks with workers from Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi, plant have been initiated last spring. According to UAW officials, the two meetings took place on Tuesday in a hall owned by the town of Smyrna and included employees of Yates Services, the firm that hires workers for the plant who are paid less than Nissan workers.

These meetings are an early step in bringing about a vote among workers at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, as most union elections are held once a majority of workers agree to allow one. Many union organizing attempts usually fail before a vote is held. “Ultimately, the choice of who represents the employees is theirs to make,” Nissan spokesman Justin P. Saia was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The UAW said there is no schedule for a vote in Canton at this time, either, but progress is being made toward convincing workers to allow a vote. The UAW has been unsuccessful in more than 30 years of trying to organize a foreign automaker with a plant, most of which are in Southern states.

  • Bob McGehee

    Before the Smyrna plant construction was completed the union reps told '60 Minutes' that they would unionize the plant. Does that sound like an invitation from Nissan workers or a threat from an outside organization needing members' monthly dues?