Saturday: Politicians, Civil Rights Leaders Turn Up Heat on Nissan Over Treatment of African-American Workers

NAACP

For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Saturday: Politicians, Civil Rights Leaders Turn Up Heat on Nissan Over Treatment of African-American Workers

Bernie Sanders, Danny Glover to Lead Massive March on Automaker’s Factory in Canton, Miss.

Coalition to Demand Nissan Respect Workers’ Right to Vote for a Union Free from Fear, Intimidation

Livestream of Protest Available Here

CANTON, MISS. - U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, actor Danny Glover, NAACP President Cornell William Brooks and hundreds of community allies will converge on Nissan’s factory in Canton, Miss., Saturday to protest the automaker’s illegal treatment of its predominantly African-American workforce.

Citing an extensive pattern of harassment and retaliation by the company against workers at Nissan’s Canton factory, elected officials, civil rights leaders, workers and allies will demand that the company respect the rights of its workers to vote for a union free from fear and intimidation.The march is being organized by the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan (MAFFAN), a coalition of civil rights leaders, ministers and worker advocates.

What: “The March on Mississippi: Workers’ Rights = Civil Rights”
Who: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, NAACP President Cornell William Brooks, former Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner, Sierra Club President Aaron Mair, UAW President Dennis Williams, Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson, actor Danny Glover and hundreds of workers and community leaders.
WhereCanton Sportsplex, 501 Soldiers Colony Road, Canton MS 39046
Media Access Time: 11:00 a.m. CST
Final Media Access: 12:00 p.m. CST
Remarks Begin: 12:30 p.m. CST
Live Truck Parking: Directed on Site
Throw (Distance from Press Riser to Main Stage): 30 feet
Cable Run (Distance from Sat Truck Parking to Press Riser): 500 feet
Media Entrance: South Entrance to soccer fields off Watford Parkway
Media Contact for Planning and Logistical Purposes Only:
Anne Haley mobile: 202-280-4576 email: annelhaley@gmail.com

***Anticipate traffic and parking delays.***

Background:

The March on Mississippi – expected to be the largest protest to hit the Magnolia State in years – follows a series of rallies at Nissan dealerships that swept across the South last month. At each protest, local clergy and civil rights leaders hand-delivered letters detailing unsafe working conditions and mistreatment of workers in Canton — and calling for an end to the company’s anti-union hostility. Of the roughly 5,000 workers at the plant, an estimated 80 percent are African-American.

Nissan began operating in Canton in 2003 amid high hopes for Mississippi workers. The state gave Nissan $1.33 billion in tax breaks with the belief the company would bring good-paying, full-time jobs to the community. But despite expectations, Nissan has instead repeatedly violated the rights of its workers.

In late 2015, the National Labor Relations Board charged Nissan and a temporary worker agency with violating workers’ rights in Mississippi. The Labor Board found that Nissan unlawfully threatened to close the plant if workers union­ize; threatened employees with termination for union activity; and unlawfully interrogated employees. The Labor Board said that Nissan has “been interfering with, restraining and coercing em­ployees in the exercise of their rights.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also issued multiple citations against Nissan for violations of federal safety and health laws. The most recent citations, issued in February, found that Nissan “did not furnish employment and a place of employment which was free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.”

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Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots–based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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