Nissan rejects US OECD Natl. Contact Point offer to mediate dispute regarding its alleged anti-union activity at Mississippi plant

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Company response
27 February 2015

Response from Nissan North America

Author: Nissan North America

With regard to the mediation offer referenced in your letter, Nissan has declined to participate because long-established guidelines for bringing a union vote already exist as set forth by the  US National Labor Relations Board.  In Canton, there's never been sufficient interest to bring it to a vote, and Nissan workers have voted against UAW representation at our plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, twice.   Accordingly, with Nissan North America, Nissan Motor Co.'s headquarters in Japan respects our US-based employees' freedom to choose their own representation and the US government's process for overseeing this process.  Together, we informed our OECD National contact of that position....


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2 February 2015

Nissan rejects U.S. government offer to mediate Mississippi UAW row

Author: Bernie Woodall, Reuters

Nissan...has rejected a U.S. State Department offer to mediate a dispute between the company and the United Auto Workers over claims of anti-union practices as the UAW tries to organize workers in Mississippi. The UAW was joined by the umbrella labor group IndustriALL Global Union Federation last April in asking the State Department for its help...The State Department said in a statement its role had ended because "a voluntary mediation process could not be established since Nissan was not willing to participate," with the State Department's National Contact Point (NCP), which works to further the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's guidelines in the United States. "The NCP regrets Nissan's unwillingness to participate in the process,"...[A] Nissan spokesman said by email that the company declined to participate in the mediation "because long-established guidelines for bringing a union vote already exist," and are set by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board. "Nissan respects labor laws in every nation where it operates and works to ensure that all employees are aware of these laws," the statement said, adding that all Nissan workers have the ability to decide whether they want to be in a union.

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30 January 2015

U.S. NCP Final Statement UAW-IndustriALL and Nissan North America, Inc. for operations in the United States

Author: US Department of State

This Final Statement concludes consideration by the United States National Contact Point (U.S. NCP) for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (the Guidelines) of the Specific Instance submitted on April 28, 2014 by the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) and IndustriALL Global Union (collectively referred to as “UAW/IndustriALL”) with regards to the alleged conduct of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and its subsidiary Nissan North America, Inc. (hereafter referred to as “Nissan”). After reviewing the Specific Instance and consulting the parties, the U.S. NCP offered its good offices for a voluntary mediation process between the two parties, but such a process could not be established.

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Company response
13 May 2014

Nissan's response

Author: Nissan

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Nissan to respond to an OECD complaint alleging it failed to respect workers' freedom of association at a Mississipi plant.] At this time, it would be premature to comment directly on the UAW’s request for mediation talks. We respect the role of the OECD and the U.S. State Department and the processes they have in place. It should be noted that the UAW already has compromised the confidentiality provisions of the OECD guidelines. For many years now, the UAW has been trying to organize a plant in the southern U.S., and Nissan has been among the union’s targeted automakers. In fact, Nissan workers have voted against UAW representation at our plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, twice. In Canton, there’s never been sufficient interest to bring it to a vote. We fully respect employees’ decisions on this matter, regardless of any pressure or attacks from outside groups such as the UAW.

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29 April 2014

UAW and IndustriALL alert OECD to rights abuses at Nissan USA

Author: IndustriALL

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Nissan to respond. Response provided.] The UAW and IndustriALL, which represents Nissan and Renault unions worldwide, assert that Nissan’s “aggressive campaign of interference” with employees’ efforts to form a union at the Canton, Mississippi plant is in violation of OECD guidelines on workers’ freedom of association...A research report issued by the Mississippi NAACP in 2013, detailed systematic management predictions that Nissan would close the factory if workers form a union. The union has offered a plan called “UAW Principles for a Fair Election,” but Nissan has refused to engage the union on steps to ensure employee choice in an atmosphere free of fear and intimidation...“Nissan is a global company that should abide by global standards that the United States and other countries have agreed on,” said UAW President Bob King. “The OECD Guidelines offer a way for the UAW, IndustriALL and Nissan to talk to each other in a neutral setting overseen by professional mediators.” [Also refers to Renault.]

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28 April 2014

UAW seeks U.S. State Department help in Mississippi spat with Nissan

Author: Reuters

The United Auto Workers has aligned with the IndustriALL Global Union in asking the U.S. State Department for help in pressing its claims that Nissan Motor Co Ltd is violating worker organizing rights in Mississippi. The UAW has been trying for several years to organize the Nissan plant near Jackson, and says the company is using "threats, intimidation and fear" to keep the union out of the plant, which it says violates guidelines of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development...Arthur Schwartz, a labor adviser based in Michigan, said he was not sure the effort will result in much for the UAW, mainly because the OECD has little power to enforce its guidelines...Nissan spokesman Justin Saia said the company "respects the labor laws of every country in which we operate" and that each employee is able to decide whether or not to join a union...

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