UAW Experiences Crushing Defeat At Nissan’s Canton Plant

By nearly a two-to-one margin, Nissan Motor Co. workers voted against organization efforts by the United Auto Workers.

bySteven Lang| UPDATED Aug 5, 2017 9:44 AM
UAW Experiences Crushing Defeat At Nissan’s Canton Plant

Nissan's assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi, has been the target of UAW organization efforts for well over a year now. 

That activity is likely to end, at least for the near future. The 3,500 workers at the plant which makes the Altima, NV, Titan, Murano, and Frontier voted overwhelmingly to reject the UAW's efforts at unionizing the labor workforce. 

This may be a watershed moment for the UAW as they have been overwhelmingly incapable of establishing a strong presence in the U.S. South which has been a hot-spot of foreign automotive manufacturing for nearly two decades. 

Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and Kia now collectively employ over 30,000 workers in the southern states, and the only successful effort the UAW has been able to muster is a small group of approximately 150 employees at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga. This group represents less than 1% of those who can vote in a union that has represented American workers since the 1930s. 

This time the UAW aligned themselves with a rather eclectic group of supporters - from Danny Glover to Bernie Sanders. 

Yet despite the efforts of the populist and the (once) popular, the Canton plant voted by well over a 60% margin to remain a non-union operation.  The UAW is now in a far weaker position with domestic automakers as they head to upcoming negotiations with GM, Ford, and Chrysler with a shrinking union base and virtually no organization successes for the entire decade.