USA: Nissan allegedly abuses workers’ rights to freedom of association at Canton plant in Mississippi, report says

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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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23 October 2013

[PDF] Derrick Johnson & Lance Compa rejoinder to Nissan response

Author: Derrick Johnson (Mississippi NAACP) & Lance Compa (intl. labor law scholar)

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Nissan to respond. Nissan referred us to its previous statement of 11 Oct provided below] [D]espite calling them “false allegations,” Nissan does not identify any factual error in our report...To be consistent with its global commitments and responsibilities, Nissan should halt its anti-union campaign filled with implicit threats that workers at the Canton, Mississippi factory will lose their jobs if they choose union representation. Instead, consistent with the report’s recommendations, Nissan and the UAW should jointly create conditions for workers to make a choice on trade union representation in an atmosphere free of the fear and intimidation that management has instilled up to now.

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Company response
11 October 2013

Nissan response re allegations of abuse of workers’ freedom of association rights at Canton plant in Mississippi (USA)

Author: Nissan Motor

This UAW [United Auto Workers] commissioned report is neither objective nor credible and simply restates two-years’ worth of false allegations by the union. Nissan has never violated labor standards and would never tolerate threats or intimidation of our employees. Nissan will continue to abide by U.S. labor laws and support the rights of employees to decide whether they wish to be represented by a union.

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8 October 2013

Report Outlines How Nissan in Canton Violates Workers’ Human Rights Standards to Organize and Bargain Collectively (USA)

Author: Derrick Johnson (Mississippi National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP) & Lance Compa (international labour law scholar) - report commissioned by United Auto Workers (UAW)

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Nissan to respond. Nissan response provided] by Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson and international labor law expert Lance Compa...shows that Nissan in Canton, Miss., is in violation of international labor standards on freedom of association through its aggressive interference with workers trying to exercise their fundamental right to organize a union...["I]n the Canton plant, Nissan has launched an aggressive campaign of fear and intimidation to nullify these rights,” said Johnson. “Our research shows that Nissan is not living up to the standards of worker treatment enshrined in International Labor Organization (ILO) core labor standards, UN human rights principles, and other international norms. It also belies Nissan’s own public commitments to honor international standards through its membership in the United Nations Global Compact,” said Compa...“Workers’ descriptions of how they are treated behind the walls of the massive Nissan plant in Canton, Miss., affirm that Nissan is systematically interfering with the internationally recognized right to form a union.”

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6 October 2013

At a Nissan Plant in Mississippi, a Battle to Shape the U.A.W.’s Future (USA)

Author: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

United Automobile Workers...has never tried a unionization drive quite like the one at the Nissan plant...[A] delegation of U.A.W. leaders and supporters will travel to Tokyo, and to publicize a report by a Cornell University professor that asserts that Nissan’s managers have illegally threatened to close the Mississippi plant if workers vote to unionize...These efforts are largely directed at Nissan’s...chief executive...who has said the company prefers communicating with its Mississippi workers without a union...Nissan...denied that managers had made such threats. “Nissan is a company that doesn’t tolerate intimidation of employees,”...Nissan officials say the company already complies with all legal requirements on unionization efforts...But union officials warn that they will escalate their fight if they are not given equal access with Nissan.[refers to Volkswagen, Renault, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler.]

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1 October 2013

[PDF] Choosing Rights

Author: Derrick Johnson (Mississippi NAACP) & Lance Compa (international labour law scholar) - report commissioned by United Auto Workers (UAW)

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Nissan to respond. Nissan response provided] This report explains Nissan’s international obligations and shows how the company is failing to live up to them, based on workers’ accounts of their experiences as Nissan employees...The issue is whether Nissan complies with international labor standards on workers’ freedom of association.

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