Posted: June 27, 2014
Working families in Mississippi will be standing up for their rights Friday afternoon and telling automaker Nissan that workers deserve a fair union election and the right to bargain for fairness in the workplace. Actor and activist Danny Glover will participate in a student-led rally outside the Nissan plant in Canton, Miss. He will be joined by a coalition that includes Concerned Students for a Better Nissan, the Mississippi Student Justice Alliance, the UAW, the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan and civil rights veterans.
Organizers of the event say the campaign to persuade Nissan to treat workers fairly traces its roots to the civil rights movement. Students are holding the rally during the Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary celebration week to commemorate the role of students in the civil rights movement of Freedom Summer in 1964 and to continue students’ civil rights activism of today, which is focused on labor rights for Nissan workers. According to the coalition: Students, community members, workers and supporters in Mississippi are building a movement to support Nissan workers as they organize for a fair union election.
Since Nissan established operations in Mississippi 11 years ago, the company has waged a campaign of fear and intimidation, including threatening plant closure if workers vote in a union and even firing a worker for being pro-union. The worker was soon after reinstated with full back pay after students demonstrated at the Nissan plant on his behalf. Fifty years after Mississippi Freedom Summer, young people are still leading the fight for justice.
Nissan denies it threatened to close the plant, but workers say managers made such threats.
Learn more about Nissan’s tactics and the campaign for workers’ rights in Mississippi at Do Better Together, on Facebook at Do Better Together and on Twitter at @DoBetterNissan.