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French official visits Mississippi to push for unionizing Nissan

Associated Press

A French parliamentarian is visiting Mississippi as part of an effort to pressure Nissan Motor Co. to allow workers at its Canton plant to organize a union.

Christian Hutin, deputy chairman of the Social Affairs Commission of the French National Assembly, met Tuesday with workers, lawmakers and other supporters of the United Autoworkers efforts to unionize the plant’s 6,200 employees.

The French government has an ownership stake in Nissan’s business partner, the Renault Group, and pro-union advocates hope French officials can lobby the company.

UAW Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel has said the union has collected the required 30 percent of worker signatures to force a union vote at the plant. The union has never sought such a vote, although UAW recruitment efforts have ramped up this year.

The French government owns almost 20 percent of Renault, which in turn owns 42 percent of Nissan.

Hutin and the union say Nissan unfairly pressures workers to vote against a union, something the company denies. Hutin said he agreed to come to Mississippi after several delegations of union supporters visited France. He sought a meeting with Canton plant manager Steve Marsh, but was turned down.


Nissan denies any improper pressure, though the company opposes a union at the plant.



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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

One comment

  1. Because all those dozens of brands of union-made French cars are so great and successful…. Send him packing!

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