Danny Glover joins Smyrna Nissan workers, students and community supporters to talk about the high number of temporary workers at Nissan in Smyrna and Canton, Miss., and temporary workers’ reports of being threatened with termination if they try to organize a union

Workers report that a majority of the thousands of workers employed at the Smyrna Nissan plant are temporary or contract workers

(Smyrna, Tenn.) – Danny Glover, Nissan workers and their supporters will hold a press conference July 30 to talk about their opposition to Nissan’s large number of temporary workers, its intimidation and implied threats against workers who want the right to organize a union in the workplace, and workers’ fear of expressing safety concerns despite the workplace deaths of two workers in the past four months.

Nissan relies heavily on temporary workers who receive lower pay than regular Nissan workers, though many do the same work. They also receive fewer benefits and have no job security. At the Smyrna Nissan plant, workers also are growing increasingly concerned about safe working conditions, but they’re reluctant to speak up about those concerns because of the company’s threats. In response, students are launching a review of work-related injuries at Nissan and how injured workers feel intimidated.

Workers believe having a union would provide them a voice at the table with management and the ability to address safety issues without fear of retribution from the company.

Nissan must respect workers and their community by:

  • Treating workers with dignity and respect. Nissan continues to deny workers in the Smyrna and Canton plants a fair union election and a safe working environment. Nissan has intimidated workers who are interested in having a union and want to speak up about safety concerns, even though it is their right to choose for themselves.
  • Making all temp workers permanent and making their pay equal to regular workers.  Nissan employs a high percentage of temporary workers who for years receive less pay, limited benefits and have no job security.

Nissan workers in the U.S. cannot rely on weak U.S. labor laws to adequately protect their fundamental right to organize. Nissan workers are asking the company to abide by principles for a fair union election, including:

  • Prohibiting the union or employer from disparaging the other side;
  • Providing equal time and access to union supporters to speak with workers when the employer holds a meeting against the union on company time;
  • Prohibiting the use of coercion, threats and intimidation to prevent workers from exercising their right to join or refraining from joining the UAW.

Who:     Danny Glover, actor/activist

Derrick Johnson, president, Mississippi NAACP and member of Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan (MAFFAN)

Nissan workers and Yates temporary workers

Concerned Students for a Better Nissan members

Mississippi Student Justice Alliance members Tyson Jackson, Monica Atkins and Kimar Cain

Community leaders

When:      Tuesday, July 30, at 3 p.m.

Where:    100 Sam Ridley Parkway, East, Smyrna, Tenn.

For information, contact:  Lauren Llewellyn, lllewellyn@crt-tanaka.com, (804) 675-8153