(JOHANNESBURG/PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA) – Members of the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan (MAFFAN), the Mississippi Student Justice Alliance (MSJA), actor and activist Danny Glover, Nissan workers and other supporters of Nissan workers’ rights to organize in the U.S. will travel from the United States to South Africa to further their global campaign message of how Nissan denies U.S. workers fundamental human rights. They will also request support and solidarity for U.S. Nissan workers from NUMSA (National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa), the ANC (African National Congress) and Desmond Tutu. Student members of the delegation also will demonstrate at Nissan dealerships in South Africa, to further raise awareness of Nissan’s treatment of U.S. workers who want to exercise their human right to have a voice on the job and to choose whether they want to unionize without threats and intimidation by Nissan.
The delegation will travel to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria, holding meetings with NUMSA, ANC officials, Desmond Tutu, and key unions in South Africa to raise awareness about the civil rights abuses at Nissan Mississippi. Together, NUMSA and the UAW will announce a renewed partnership in the Nissan worker campaign and will hold a worker rally and march. Details will be announced at a press conference at the NUMSA headquarters in Johannesburg on Thursday, May 30 at 10:00 a.m.
At the height of the anti-apartheid struggle, UAW members marched and campaigned in defense of basic rights for all people of South Africa. Today, South African workers are standing up for rights for Mississippi workers at Nissan.
Nissan recognizes and bargains with unions at almost all of its operations globally, but in poverty-stricken Mississippi, the company uses job security as a threat to keep workers from unionizing. Workers in South Africa are joining workers at Nissan Mississippi in calling for Nissan to:
- Stop the anti-union campaign in Mississippi and treat workers with dignity and respect. Nissan continuously denies workers in the Canton plant a fair union election. Nissan has intimidated workers who are interested in having a union, even though it is their right to choose for themselves. Nissan refuses to allow workers to hear both sides of the issue before making a decision.
- Provide permanent jobs for all Nissan workers. Nissan employs a high percentage of temporary workers who for years receive less pay, limited benefits and have no job security.
Respect workers’ rights at all Nissan operations around the world and treat workers in Canton, Mississippi with the same fairness afforded workers in South Africa and Japan and elsewhere.
Who: UAW (United Auto Workers) President Bob King
NUMSA (National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa) General Secretary Irvin Jim
Danny Glover, actor/activist
Dr. Isiac Jackson, Jr., President of General Mississippi Baptist State Convention and Liberty Missionary Baptist Church and Chair of Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan
Derrick Johnson, President Mississippi NAACP
Betty Jones, Nissan worker from Mississippi
When/Where: Thursday, May 30 – 10:00 a.m., press conference with UAW President Bob King, NUMSA leaders and Danny Glover.
NUMSA Head Office
153 Bree (Cnr Gerard Sekoto) Street, Newtown, Johannesburg
Members of the media are invited to attend and report. We kindly requests media houses to RSVP and confirm attendance with our National Spokesperson Castro Ngobese, at the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org / mobile: 081 011 1137
For more information, contact: Kristyne Peter: +1 202 803 1859, email@example.com
Aisha Bahadur: +27 83 304 4904, firstname.lastname@example.org
Castro Ngobese: +27 81 011 1137, CastroN@numsa.org.za
Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan
PO Box 1674, Canton, MS 39046