NAACP: Mississippi Nissan Workers Fight To Organize A Union Is A Civil Rights Struggle- 01/30/13
By Doug Cunningham
Nissan workers struggling to form a union at the automaker’s Canton, Mississippi plant got support Tuesday from civil rights leaders, actor Danny Glover as well as student and community activists. The workers want Nissan to be neutral and allow workers a fair election to decide whether or not to be represented by the United Auto Workers. Derek Johnson, President of Mississippi’s NAACP supports a union for these Nissan workers.
[Derek Johnson]: “When workers go to work on Monday they don’t know whether they’re gonna work a four-hour day or a twelve-hour day. They have no idea whether it’s going to be a four-day week or a seven-day week. They are pretty much held captive until the plant decides they can come and go.”
Johnson says labor’s struggle is a civil rights struggle for justice and this Mississippi Nissan workers’ union organizing effort has national implications.
[Derek Johnson 2]: “We see this as a civil rights issue. We see this as a national movement. We understand that what happens in the south as it relates to organized labor could make the difference whether or not organized labor exists in this country. Because it is the new battleground - where the Midwest and the northeastern states had a long hard fight to organize and as a result of that you had individuals across racial lines, across gender, who were able to rise up into the middle class. But in the south where we have ‘right to work’ states, where we have low union density – we see this as our opportunity to raise up the south, create a new paradigm and allow workers to truly appreciate the benefit of their labor and increase the quality of life.”