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United Automobile Workers Sets Its Sight on Mississippi Nissan Plant to Break the Back of Nonunion South
Sheila Wilson, autoworker, Canton Mississippi Nissan Plant
Raphael Martinez, autoworker, Canton Mississippi Nissan Plant
It is just more than a month since the UAW suffered a bruising defeat at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, with workers voting not to join a union in an election widely seen as a test of whether labor unions will gain a foothold in the rapidly growing auto factories of the South. But, now the attention has now shifted to the more than 5,000-worker Nissan plant in Canton, Miss., where another union effort is gaining steam. This time, union organizers have help from clergy and students across central Mississippi who have joined the campaign, championing the workers' cause and condeming management's intimidation campaign. From pulpits, at leafleting campaigns outside Nissan dealerships and at auto industry events in Brazil, Geneva, Detroit and New York, these new organizers have a message we support the workers. The success or failure of this new tactic could be crucial for the labor movement as it seeks to organize new workers in a region that has become one of the most important battlegrounds for new manufacturing in the U.S. . The UAW also hopes to organize a Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama, and has requested another vote in Chattanooga. Other unions have their sights on a 7,000-worker Boeing plant in South Carolina.
produced by Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg
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