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Actor Danny Glover Leading Protest Against Nissan

Group hopes to pressure maker to unionize Mississippi plant.

by on Jan.14, 2013

Actor and activist Danny Glover aims to lend some star power to the protest.

Actor Danny Glover spoke at a demonstration outside the North American International Auto Show today, but attendance was sparse, so leaders of the protest planned to try again this afternoon.

The group is protesting what they allege to be the poor treatment of workers at the Nissan plant in Canton, Miss.

The protest is paired with an organizing drive launched last spring at Canton by the United Auto Workers union which has struggled for decades to try to represent the growing number of foreign-owned “transplant” assembly plants in the U.S. The UAW is laying the groundwork to line up community support for a vote among the plants 5,000 production workers and has reactivated an old alliance with civil rights activists in the Mississippi Delta.

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“With Nissan, you have to look beneath the shine. Nissan builds great vehicles, but the company should respect the rights and dignity of its Mississippi workforce,” the Rev. Isiac Jackson, president of the General Missionary Baptist State Convention of Mississippi, said in a statement released Friday.


Autoworkers Plan Auto Show Protest

Disgruntled workers want bigger share of industry turnaround.

by on Jan.04, 2011

UAW activists want the newly-resilient Detroit automakers to share some of their wealth.

Disgruntled auto workers are planning to demonstrate outside the North American International Auto Show again this year just as United Auto Workers President Bob King is scheduled to launch a charm offensive the union’s top brass hope will coax workers from non-union plants into joining the UAW.

The demonstration is set for January 9, the day before the Detroit Auto Show’s official press days.

The disgruntled workers are demanding greater militancy from King and the rest of the union leadership, which has committed to finding a way to compromise with executives at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler as well as other automakers.  The UAW has made numerous concessions since 2007, when the last round of domestic contract negotiations took place – and the protests will argue that workers now deserve some of those concession back in light of the profits being rolled up by Detroit’s Big Three.

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Automakers, on the other hand will be under pressure to protect their new profits in order to pay off debt and to satisfy investors, looking for their own share of the carmakers income.

The contrast on display at the auto show is very likely to shape the union’s approach to the negotiations with the domestic carmakers later this year. King is expected to ask for a larger share of company profits in an effort to appease his critics inside the union.