Employees at Nissan's Canton, Mississippi, plant voted against UAW representation by a wide margin.

Nissan workers voted down a bid by the United Auto Workers to unionize employees at the company’s big assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi, by a wide margin.

The final tally in the election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board was 2244 to 1307.

“With this vote, the voice of Nissan employees has been heard. They have rejected the UAW and chosen to self-represent, continuing the direct relationship they enjoy with the company,” the company said in a statement issued after the votes were counted.

“We believe this outcome positions Nissan to be competitive in the future,” Nissan statement added.
Prior to the defeat Friday, Nissan employees in Smyrna, Tennessee, had also rejected union representation by big margins.

More recently, however, the union has concentrated its efforts in Mississippi, where the anti-union sentiment is strong. However, 80% of the blue-collar work force in the Canton plant is African American and the union had used its links to the civil rights movement to bolster its position.

(UAW sets vote at Nissan’s Mississippi plant. For the story, Click Here.)

The UAW and many Nissan employees allege Nissan has engaged in unfair labor practices.

“We learned a lot during this process, and our work will continue as we strengthen the direct relationship we have with employees. Together, we will build a stronger foundation for Nissan Canton’s continued growth,” the statement added.

Nissan also said the UAW should end its efforts to organize a union at the Canton plant. “Our expectation is that the UAW will respect and abide by their decision and cease their efforts to divide our Nissan family. Now that the election is complete.”

UAW president Dennis Williams said the result of the election was a setback for the workers, the UAW and working Americans everywhere, but in no way should it be considered a defeat.

(UAW pushes for organizing vote at Nissan’s Mississippi plant. Click Here to see the story.)

“Perhaps recognizing they couldn’t keep their workers from joining our union based on the facts, Nissan and its anti-worker allies ran a vicious campaign against its own workforce that was comprised of intense scare tactics, misinformation and intimidation,” Williams said.

In its latest complaint against Nissan, the NLRB alleged that the company recently threatened a loss of wages and benefits if employees support a union, threatened closing of the Canton plant if employees support a union, interrogated employees about union support, and promised increased benefits and improved working conditions if employees oppose a union.

Nissan’s unfair labor practices significantly intensified at the Canton plant, Williams said. The Canton site is one of only three Nissan facilities in the world, including two in Tennessee, where workers are not represented by a union.

(Nissan says “No” to UAW. To see more about organizing efforts, Click Here.)

Acting on behalf of Nissan employees and in response to the events of recent weeks, the UAW had filed a new round of unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB shortly before the polls closed in Canton, the union also announced.

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