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Third Time is NOT the Charm: Nissan Smokes UAW Again in Union Vote

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More than 3,500 Nissan workers in Canton, Mississippi, overwhelmingly voted against union representation by the United Auto Workers (UAW) on Aug. 3 and 4. The final vote tally was 2,244 to 1,307.

 

This follows two prior defeats of the UAW by Nissan in 1989 and 2001, so third time is not the charm. It also is the latest in a long line of losses by the UAW in the South and within foreign car companies’ U.S. manufacturing sites. The latest blowout defeat for the UAW raises significant questions about the union’s future and its ability to organize foreign auto manufacturers.

 

The UAW filed unfair labor practice charges on Aug. 4 against Nissan shortly after the vote concluded alleging employee intimidation and other misconduct. If the National Labor Relations Board finds merit to any of the allegations, it could result in a re-run election. For now, however, Nissan and its other Japanese automotive counterparts’ American operations remain union-free.

 

David Pryzbylski

Recently recognized as one of the top under-40 labor lawyers in the nation by Law360, David J. Pryzbylski’s interest in labor relations began early in high school, having grown up next to several of the largest steel mills in the world. Today, David is a Partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Labor & Employment Department. Building on his interest in labor relations, he concentrates a large portion of his practice on assisting employers with traditional labor matters, including collective bargaining; work stoppages; arbitrations; union avoidance training and strategies; union representation elections; unfair labor practice charges; contract administration; and various other labor relations issues.

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