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Right-to-work: Mississippi Nissan Factory Most Recent UAW Target

Right-to-work: Mississippi Nissan Factory Most Recent UAW Target

“Unions function as labor cartels”

Having worked their destructive magic in Detroit, the United Auto Workers union (UAW) has set its greedy sights on the South.  Roundly rejected by Tennessee workers at a Volkswagen auto plant in 2014, the UAW picked itself up, dusted itself off, and redoubled its thirteen-year efforts at a Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi.

The South has long rejected unions, including the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union who tried and failed to unionize Boeing workers in South Carolina last month.  But the UAW is undeterred, even dragging avowed socialist and failed presidential candidate for the 2016 Democratic nomination down from Vermont to try to convince Mississippians that he—and the UAW—knows what is in their best interests.

On March 4th, they held a “March on Mississippi” in order to garner support for unionization and thereby getting, at long last, a foothold in the South.

UPI reports:

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders joined a rally for organized labor at a Nissan auto plant in Mississippi on Saturday, calling on the Japanese automaker to drop its opposition to workers unionizing.

Sanders joined other liberal groups, including the Sierra Club and the NAACP, in signing a letter to Nissan, challenging the company to allow workers the right to freely decide whether to join the United Auto Workers, and to improve workplace safety at its plant in Canton, Miss.

“These workers have shown incredible courage in standing up and fighting back, and they deserve my support — and I think they deserve support from progressives all across this country,” Sanders told Bloomberg News on Friday.

Sanders has long been an advocate of unionization.  This is unsurprising given his long-standing admiration and emulation of the former Soviet Union and Cuba, affinities that extend beyond his well-publicized honeymoon-business trip to the Soviet Union, his days as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and back to his college days as a member of the Young People’s Socialist League.

His speech at the rally focused on the usual socialist line that giving power and wealth to unions (and government) is far better than self-determination and individual liberty, that businesses are evil and workers’ unions are something akin to selfless, noble, and altruistic.


Apparently convinced by Hillary’s deft and successful (?) use of celebrities to win votes, the UAW even had actor Danny Glover down there telling the Nissan workers that they are being exploited.

UPI continues:

The rally also featured actor and activist Danny Glover, who said in a statement that workers at Nissan’s Mississippi factory are being mistreated.

“The company has committed rampant safety and health violations and denied its workers their basic right to vote for a union free from fear and intimidation,” Glover said.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently issued two citations for workplace safety hazards at the plant.

While Nissan acknowledged the safety complaints and said it is working with OSHA to resolve them, the company denied it has violated workers’ rights to unionize.

“The allegations made by the union are totally false,” Nissan spokesman Brian Brockman said in an email. “Nissan respects and values the Canton workforce, and our history reflects that we recognize the employees’ rights to decide for themselves whether or not to have third-party representation.”

The drive to unionize workers in right to work states is rooted in the UAW’s staggering decline in membership in recent decades.  If they can’t get a foothold in the South, they may well not survive.

The Meridian Star explains:

[T]he struggle for “civil rights” sounds far more noble and desirable than what is actually happening in Canton and across the landscape of foreign-owned automobile manufacturing plants in the South — which is a desperate struggle for survival by a weakened labor union that has endured a 75 percent membership decline since 1979.

With Detroit now a bankrupt remnant of the Golden Age of American automobile manufacturing, the UAW now must literally find a new host on which to feed for union dues. The right-to-work states in the South are the prime targets, and the foreign-owned manufacturers that helped build “Detroit South” are truly the only possible salvation of the desperate UAW.

The bottom line is that the UAW is a union in decline that must infiltrate Southern auto plants to survive. They want to take from the success of these transplanted auto factories in the South to perpetuate their own organizations – and they want to do so in the name of the nobility of civil rights.

What the UAW and Sanders don’t address is the fact that Nissan has been a boon to the local economy.

The Meridian Star continues:

Since opening in 2003, Nissan has employed more than 6,000 Mississippians and created an additional 2.9 jobs for every job at the plant. A 2016 study by Mississippi State University’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center shows approximately 25,000 direct and indirect jobs created throughout Mississippi that link to Nissan. Nissan also generates $300 million in annual state and local tax revenues.

Nissan adds $2.9 billion to the annual state GDP – up from $2.5 billion in 2013. Median family income is up in Madison County by $2,673 ($75,673 now vs $73,000 in 2013) – national average is $65,443. Median family income in Detroit, Michigan in 2015 was $68,516.

This is a business fight over unionizing an automobile manufacturing plant, nothing more and nothing less. The union hopes that global companies like Nissan will simply buckle under weight of false claims of civil rights violations and capitulate — creating higher membership numbers and bolstering the revenue stream of the UAW.

Unionization tends to have a negative impact not only on workers (by limiting the number that companies can afford to hire) but also on the local economy.

Heritage summarizes:

Unions function as labor cartels, restricting the number of workers in a company or industry to drive up the remaining workers’ wages. They also retard economic growth and delay recovery from recession. Over time, unions destroy jobs in the companies they organize and have the same effect on business investment as does a 33 percentage point corporate income tax increase.

As unions destroy jobs, cities, and local economies, they have to move on from areas they’ve sucked dry to find new members to keep up the revenue stream, and the dire straights in which the UAW finds itself—due in no small part to its own greed and unreasonable demands—has resulted in a “coalition” of leftist groups, including Black Lives Matter, descending on Canton, Mississippi.

The Guardian reports:

They have organized a community coalition, the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan, that includes #BlackLivesMatter activists, church groups, the Sierra Club, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The coalition is calling for a mobilization not seen in the south since the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

More than 80% of Nissan’s workers in Canton are black. A win at Nissan could be a game-changer. On Saturday, they had a guest speaker.

“If we can win here at Nissan, you will give a tremendous bolt of confidence to working people all over this country,” Bernie Sanders told a crowd of 5,000. “If you can stand up to a powerful multinational corporation in Canton, Mississippi, workers all over this country will say, ‘We can do it, too.’”

Just. One. Win.  That’s all they need to begin their destructive rampage across the South.


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“More than 80% of Nissan’s workers in Canton are black.” Sounds like the NFL.

    Old0311 in reply to snopercod. | March 7, 2017 at 10:01 am

    They probably aren’t a stupid as your average NFL player. They produce a good product in the USA while the last three GM products were made in Canada or Mexico. I hope they will send the UAW packing.

I see nothing wrong with a union in a right-to-work state. If workers at a specific site or company think they need union protection, they’re probably right.

A right-to-work law does not prevent the formation of unions or their entry into a given business: it merely keeps the union honest because the workers can refuse to pay them, so they have to provide value to each of them.

I worked at two different union plants in Texas. In each case, people would tell it like this: “XX has a union, but they deserved it.”

At the first, I found out that every last union worker had another job on the side, be it a business, or investment. They all had their theories, and an enormous amount of ambition.

At the second, the union stewards turned out to be the best and most respected workers in the plant. That was an eye opener for me.

It’s when unions get the right to be paid regardless of their performance (through compulsory membership) that the union becomes corrupt.

    donb in reply to Valerie. | March 6, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    Your experiences are not unique.

    Unions can provide employees with protection from abusive management, and Right-to-Work (giving employees the right to NOT join the union) provides employees with protection from abusive unions.

    Right-to-Work also keeps the unions honest and focused on serving their members rather than focused on political goals that are frequently contrary to the best interests of their members.

    (Yes, I have been a union member, a very happy and pleased member, in a right-to-work state.)

    for the most part I agree.
    my issues are when people do decide to join its the company who is forced by federal law to handle payroll disbursements to the union, non-union positions are not allowed to (per federal law) bargain for their own wages.
    make it so the the union member has to handle his/her own dues and allow someone else to bargain fro their own job and I would not pay any attn to those who want a union.

      ConradCA in reply to dmacleo. | March 7, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      The employees who belong to a union should be forced to write a check to pay their dues. Donations the union makes should be in proportion to the votes of its members.

I am an Equipment Service Associate at BMW Plant Spartanburg. UAW has recently started banging the drum trying to raise interest in unionizing the labor force. I guess $16 per hour starting out is not enough money for a non-skilled job in a climate-controlled environment. I’ll tell it like it is……I don’t want anyone messing with the deal I have. I am prepared to defend my job and you will just have to deal with it. Big picture: Mack Truck opened an assembly plant in Winnsboro, SC in the late 1980s, way ahead of the curve of automotive moving south. They located there to get away from union labor. One of their facilities in Pennsylvania slowed down and some of their folks relocated to Winnsboro, and subsequently voted in the UAW. Management had no qualms at all with the shuttering of the plant. I don’t want to see that happen to my job. I WILL defend it!

    scooterjay in reply to scooterjay. | March 7, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Most of the folks wanting the union in Plant Spartanburg are contract employees that work for MAU. These people are contracted to provide production service and as I said, it is all pretty much unskilled labor. These people are not happy because they do not work for BMW and do not receive the benefits that an associate has. The reason behind this is because of the turnover rate. BMW will not invest in someone that refuses to produce, and I cannot blame them. If you do your job, are punctual and strive for excellence then you get rewarded with the BMW shirt, as we say. You can imagine which worker is the one clamoring for the UAW. Also, many of these people are constantly crying about the Equipment Service Associate making more than double the hourly wage of the production person. The fallacy of their argument lies in how we became ESAs…….I spent 30 years acquiring the necessary skills to land this job so please, get out of my face with your “white privilege” lecture. Yes, the BLM crowd is the one pushing this cancer upon us. You want to make more money? Get your skill set in order and leave the Escalade on the dealer’s lot!

My son hates the UAW. They cost him his job. Subsequently (because of the job loss) also his house.

Back when GM was floundering and had in fact, pulled out from manufacting any cars at the NUMMI plant in Fremont CA, my son was one of 100 employees at Toyota who “partnered” with the plant in logistics and shipping. The GM Vibe had ceased production and after Toyota had been building their own cars exclusively for six months they made an offer to the NUMMI employees: lose the union and we’ll keep the plant open. It was all or nothing. The NUMMI employees took a vote and, with lots of union counsel, decided they wanted to keep their union. Toyota shuttered NUMMI, over 5000 auto workers lost their jobs in a poor job market and my son’s little group of 100 got to have the distinction of being the first employees ever laid off by Toyota.

That choice by the NUMMI employees never made the news – you’ll not find it reported anywhere. My son said Toyota was a GREAT company to work for and they treated their employees well … but they had to work. Promotions and raises were earned and penalties followed poor performance (one of the reasons NUMMI workers wanted to keep their union.) I don’t know what Nissan is like as a company so I don’t know if my son’s experience with Toyota applies. But I’ll tell ya – 5000 auto workers were very poorly served by their union 7 years ago in Fremont CA.

The Friendly Grizzly | March 6, 2017 at 11:38 pm

I worked for a company that did some upgrades at the Nissan plant in Smyrna TN. From my admittefly limited observations I’d say the morale was high and the workers eager and helpful. UAW has tried to get in there for decades. Threats and intimidation was not well received.

The Friendly Grizzly | March 6, 2017 at 11:39 pm

WERE not well received…

Interesting demographics. I’m old enough to remember when unions like the UAW had to be forcefully integrated.

Black Lives Matter, Sierra Club, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the American Civil Liberties Union are more about leftist politics than genuinely helping Blacks. Most of the employees are probably making enough they really don’t need the extra help.

    4fun in reply to Milwaukee. | March 7, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    more about leftist politics than genuinely helping Blacks
    Preach it brother. Blacks are being used – again – by liberals for leftist purposes.
    Reading Days Of Rage (weather underground of the 60’s) and the same thing is shown of the left abusing blacks for their purposes.


I currently drive a car made at that factory. If the UAW wins, it will be the last. I don’t drive UAW junk.

For a time, I was a union member in a right to work state. I made the mistake of doing an honest days work for an honest days pay and that did not set well with my fellow union members. Then I realized all the union was doing was working in slow motion and protecting the lazy employees from termination. I found a better use for my money.