By Doug Cunningham
Nissan workers in Canton, Mississippi are interested in getting a real voice at work by joining the UAW. An effort has been underway for months there to bring the 3,000 workers employed at that Nissan plant into the union. Raphael Martinez is a pro-union Nissan worker who says the organizing effort is going well, despite an effort by Nissan management to disparage the union and intimidate workers into being anti-union.
[Raphael Martinez]: “We believe that this is important because we need to have a voice in what’s going on. We believe that this is not us against them, but it’s how we can work better together.
Martinez says Nissan workers in Canton, Mississippi haven’t had a raise in nearly five years and have seen their health care benefits erode. Weekend work schedules also are hard on family life and leave workers little time for proper rest before having to come back in to work. The UAW wants Nissan to agree to a set of fair representation principles before any union election is held so workers get a truly fair shot at deciding whether or not to join the UAW.
[Raphael Martinez 2]: “If the election is not going to be fair, we don’t want it. But we are encouraged by the fact that we are making strides, you know, we are moving ahead. Things are lookin’ real good. We feel good about what we’re doin’ and we feel very, very confident about our chances.”