Mississippi Nissan workers hope for historic win in 14-year fight to unionize
Support from Bernie Sanders and Danny Glover helped provide momentum to a campaign ‘about overcoming the effects of slavery’
“I’ve never seen a labor campaign of this size,” says the civil rights movement veteran Frank Figgers. “This is a historic struggle about overcoming the effects of slavery in Mississippi.”
Figgers is attending a meeting of 100 Nissan workers at a church preparing for the last push ahead of a historic union election for 4,000 Nissan workers set to take place on 2-3 August in Canton, Mississippi.
The vote is the culmination of 14-year campaign to organize the Nissan plant, 80% of whose employees are African American, and a major test for unions who have struggled to make inroads in the southern states as manufacturing jobs have migrated south.
For years, many workers have doubted that they would get enough support to be able to call for an election at all. But after more than 5,000 people, including the former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders and the actor Danny Glover, took part in the “March on Mississippi” in support of unionization at Nissan in the spring, the drive took on a new sense of momentum. If the union vote is successful, it would be the largest union victory in Mississippi in more than a generation. A win in Canton would send a bolt of energy into the growing labor movement across the south.Read more --- https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/24/mississippi-nissan-workers-union-bernie-sanders-civil-rights