Nissan Motor, the second-largest Japanese automaker has rejected an offer coming from the US State Department to mediate a dispute in Mississippi between the carmaker and the United Auto Workers union.
The latter, as it fulfills its promise of trying to organize US southern states has accused Nissan of anti-union practices and was joined by its larger umbrella labor group IndustriALL Global Union Federation last April as it sought help from the State Department. The UAW has been mulling a strategy to turn public opinion against Nissan for claims over violations of workers’ rights and the non-binding mediation, combined with the efforts to implicate a global union group and the State Department could have been seen as part of their ongoing campaign. The State Department said “a voluntary mediation process could not be established since Nissan was not willing to participate,” and the State Department’s National Contact Point (NCP) added that it “regrets Nissan’s unwillingness to participate in the process,” as the latter strives to introduce in the US the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s guidelines.
The UAW has been implicated in unionization attempts with Nissan’s plant near Jackson, Mississippi for over a decade, claiming the automaker was using “threats, intimidation and fear” and violated OECD guidelines. On the other hand, a Nissan spokesperson said to Reuters that “because long-established guidelines for bringing a union vote already exist,” being set by the US National Labor Relations Board, the company declined the mediation offer.