Vermont’s Senator, Bernie Sanders is leading a Pro-Union rally against Nissan; activists are calling it to demand their privileges and protesting against a civil rights violation by Nissan.
Bernie along with several politicians – Ohio’s Former Senator Nina Turner, NAACP President Cornell William Brooks, Actor Danny Glover, UAW President Dennis Williams, and numerous other activists – will be taking part in the protest held at a Nissan Plant, Canton, Mississippi.
A Nissan Worker named Kevin Harkins walked with more than 3,000 other individuals for unionizing; many were wearing the same red colored T-shirt while marching towards Nissan Plant in Canton. The union supporters are allegedly intimidated at the Nissan plant; hence the rally was organized by United Auto Workers to resolve the issue.
The Nissan Unit in Canton employing more than 6,400 workers has never held a union vote until now. With only a few employees having a problem with the company, there was not enough potential to hold a vote for unionizing.
Harkins said that they all had been intimidated by their management. He described an unusual policy that the company follows. The violation committed by one employee will be met with compassion, while another employee might be fired under the same nature of the offense. He expects that a union vote would help them handle the above said issues.
Many speakers present in the protest rally alleged Human Rights violation. Some of them reported that the company does not allow employees to use washrooms or forced them to work even if they’re sick. They said many other issues had not been reported as an official complaint. On the other hand, Nissan denies all the allegations and tells that all the claims are “totally false.”
In 2015, a Nissan employee named Derick Whiting died on the manufacturing floor; his close colleagues were forced to continue working. An employee, Travis Park, who had witnessed this in 2015, spoke during the rally on Saturday. The management at Nissan told that he is lying. Travis yelled at the crowd, “I was there. I saw him laying on the floor. And they’re telling me I’m lying.”
Nissan released a statement on this allegation, “Organizers continue to tell the false story that the line continued to run after he collapsed and required emergency medical attention. His co-workers stopped the line and did all that they could to help him. He was quickly in the care of trained personnel until the EMS transported him to the hospital. These false claims are insulting to those employees who offered aid in that situation.”
Rodney Francis, the Human Resource Director denied all the allegations made in the rally and said there was no intimidation tactics implied on any of the employees.
Although, Sanders stressed that almost all Nissan Units across the world are unionized, but only the plants in U.S aren’t. He emphasized that unionization leads to increased wages by about 27 percent, according to the policies implemented by the Department of Labor in 2014.