Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs
139 rue de Bercy
75572 PARIS Cedex 12
12th of November, 2015
As vice -chairman of the Committee on Social Affairs, I had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the UAW (United Auto Workers) on Tuesday the 3rd of November at the National Assembly. These representatives came to expose the challenges they are faced with at the Nissan plant in Canton Mississippi (United States of America). The situation there is dire and sadly not new, with the rights of workers seriously being compromised. Regarding the harsh treatment of its employees, numerous reports have outlined the practices of upper management at this establishment.
Every possible step is taken to prevent the personnel from organizing a union inside the plant. Pressure, threats, harassment, routine propaganda, lowering of wages… Every possible step is taken to prejudice the rights of the workers in what is known to be a historic cradle of the civil rights movement in the United States of America.
Recommendations made by the OECD that has examined this case, have not been respected and upper management has refused that the OECD act as a mediator between the workers and Nissan.
This situation cannot go on particularly when you factor in that Nissan is linked to Renault, the flagship of the French Automobile industry in which the French State remains a shareholder. The situation is even less tenable when the Renault/Nissan group is fully involved in COP 21 and has unscrupulously positioned itself for environmental protection, sustainable development and good social practices, when in reality, it has implemented managerial practice that are intrinsically violent and worthy of the most outrageous caricature.
The repression of employees and their inability to exercise their most basic rights cannot be accepted by the group and Renault in particular.
Did Mr. Steve March indulge in the same practices at Renault Douai (France) prior to working in Mississippi?
It is essential that Mr. Carlos Ghosn take head of what is happening in this factory with 5,000 employees. It is essential that the French Government clearly state that it cannot accept such practices.
As a shareholder of this company, the government must take action. To me, it appears difficult to defend and subscribe to the aforementioned activities and I would therefore ask you, as the acting Economic Minister of France, to kindly use your influence so that the workers of Canton Mississippi can have their rights respected.
Pending your response, please accept my warmest regards.