By nearly a 2-to-1 margin, Nissan’s production and maintenance employees at its Canton, Mississippi facility rejected UAW representation. The count was 2,244 “no” votes to 1,307 “yes” votes.
The UAW had invested heavily for over six years in trying to convince Nissan’s Mississippi workers to vote “yes.” Through demonstrations and rallies featuring actor Danny Glover, Senator Bernie Sanders, and scores of others, the UAW pitched itself as the right answer for Nissan workers. But, just like two previous elections at Nissan’s Tennessee facility, the UAW was soundly rejected.
Before, during and after the election campaign, the UAW filed numerous unfair labor practice charges against Nissan. The UAW will argue to the NLRB that Nissan committed labor law violations that justify setting aside the election result. The litigation over the UAW’s charges will likely linger for years.
During the election campaign, the UAW received a troubling blow to its reputation. The United States Justice Department filed an indictment against UAW executives, alleging a bribery and embezzlement scandal. According to the indictment, millions of dollars intended for training Chrysler workers were instead used to buy a Ferrari, jewelry, a swimming pool, to pay-off a home mortgage, and to take luxurious trips. Though the indictment was issued in Detroit, news of the emerging scandal was widely reported in Mississippi.
Consequently, there is much UAW litigation taking place, not only at the NLRB, but in the federal criminal court in Detroit.