March on Mississippi: Nissan Workers Demand Union Rights

Actor Danny Glover. (Photograph by Rogi Lensing, Creative Commons.)

By Doug Cunningham

Workers Independent News is heard Monday through Friday after the 6 and 11 p.m. news on 97.9 WHAV.

Workers Independent News is heard Monday through Friday after the 6 and 11 p.m. news on 97.9 WHAV.

Canton, Miss., Nissan workers, supported by the United Auto Workers, the NAACP, Sen. Bernie Sanders and activist actor Danny Glover, held a spirited March on Mississippi over the weekend. Their message was worker rights are human rights.

Nissan workers want a union and they want to be able to vote for a union free of fear and intimidation from Nissan.

“Brothers and sisters, friends all, it is your moment, your time in history! You will determine not only the fate of this facility here, but you will send a signal to workers everywhere—it’s time to rise up! It’s time to join together! It’s time to change things,” said Dennis Williams, United Auto Workers president.

The UAW filed more unfair labor practice charges against Nissan just before the weekend march. The union says Nissan illegally prevented workers from handing out pro-union literature and asking workers to sign cards supporting the UAW.

Senator Bernie Sanders told the Nissan workers their struggle for freedom, dignity and union rights has the power to inspire other workers nationwide.

“What this struggle is about is a struggle for dignity,” Sander said. “And if you can stand up to a powerful multinational corporation In Canton, Mississippi, workers all over this country are going to say we can do it to. So, Mississippi, UAW, the eyes of the country and the eyes of the world are on you. You can begin that revolution here that says that workers in America are entitled to justice, decent wages, decent benefits.”

Activist actor Danny Glover marched with workers in Canton as he has for many years in many places in support of union rights as human rights.

“What makes this country great is the people, the citizens, the hard-working union members. This is what makes this country. This is what democracy is about right here,” Glover said.

Betty Jones is a pro-UAW Nissan worker.

“We on that line each and every day working hard. And it’s about us having a voice and being a partner with Nissan. And discuss policies, our job security, our environment we’re working in, wages and safety. So, that’s what we all about.”