WASHINGTON, DC – In advance of a closely watched vote to unionize a Nissan Motor Co. manufacturing plant this Thursday and Friday in Canton, Mississippi, 18 members of Congress sent President Trump a sharply worded letter this week, urging him to publicly support the collective bargaining rights of the Mississippi auto workers and asking that he demand that Nissan “shift its posture towards the organizing drive at the facility in Canton to neutral.”
The Nissan factory—partly owned by Japanese and French investors, including the French government—is one of the company’s only plants throughout the world without a union or any meaningful worker representation. The U.S. Representatives note that working conditions at the factory have been plagued with threats against employees and “hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm.”
According to press reports, workers have been compelled to attend large group meetings on the dangers of unions and endure warnings from supervisors of a potential plant closure and lower incomes, leading the National Labor Relations Board to charge the company with violating workers’ rights.
“On the campaign trail, candidate Trump denounced the way that foreign companies take advantage of an economic system that’s rigged against ordinary workers,” said Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02). “The fight in Canton is the clearest example of this. Unlike any other Nissan employees in the rest of the industrialized world, American workers have been forced to swallow relentless anti-union propaganda from Nissan managers in the days and weeks leading up to this vote. Such intimidation must stop. President Trump came to power promising people good jobs. Now is his chance to truly stand up to a foreign company bullying Americans into accepting lower wages and unsafe working conditions.”
“The right to collective bargaining is one of the most fundamental rights of working Americans,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12). “If President Trump is serious about standing up for the working men and women of this country, he should be willing to support efforts that ensure all Americans have the right to collectively bargain to improve their jobs and quality of life.”
The full letter is available here.