Pro-union group gathers to talk strategy about Nissan

CANTON, Miss. (WJTV) — People advocating to bring a union to the Canton Nissan plant gathered Friday to talk strategy.

For hours dozens of pro-union members met behind closed doors in what they called a strategizing meeting.

It’s one of their last pushes to get people to vote to bring union representation to the Nissan plant in Canton.

“Working in there is like being on a treadmill where you can’t control the speed, and your body really can’t physically keep up with the speed that is going on,” former employee, Shambe Jones said.

Jones says he was fired from Nissan, and now he wants to be a voice for those who are afraid to speak out against the mega corporation.

“A lot of people are being afraid to say stuff because of the tactics that Nissan uses firing people is one of them,” Jones explained.

Bill Chandler says he’s heard the same accusations and he feels a union would open up dialogue to defuse the issues.

“There’s one on one meetings and all kinds of things to try to persuade workers to turn their backs on the union, but I don’t think that’s going to work I think workers are going to stand up for their rights their right to come together as an organization,” Chandler said.

A spokesperson with Nissan released the following statement:

Allegations of intimidation made by the union are totally false. 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.

Voters have the right to know the company’s perspective on what is best for our future and the full story about what it means to have a union. The union only wants employees to hear one side of the story. The company has the right and obligation to provide employees with full information, and it will continue to do so.

On Thursday, WJTV asked Governor Phil Bryant his thoughts on a union.

“If you want to take away your job if you want to end manufacturing as we know it in Mississippi just start expanding unions you’ll see them go away,” Governor Bryant said.

Another pro-union meeting is scheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Canton Multipurpose Building. An anti-union rally is set for Saturday at the Nissan plant at 11 a.m.

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