UAW: Nissan surveils workers at Miss. plant

Josh Eidelson
Bloomberg News

The United Auto Workers accused Nissan Motor Co. of illegally tracking and rating employees by their union sentiments for years at a Mississippi assembly plant where workers voted down representation last month.

In an amended complaint filed Sept. 19 with the National Labor Relations Board, the union alleges the automaker “continues to maintain an employee surveillance, data collection and rating system that records employee union activity and rates workers according to their perceived support for or opposition to the UAW.” Nissan representatives didn’t immediately comment on the claims.

In the complaint, which Bloomberg News obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, the UAW asks the NLRB to subpoena the automaker and investigate its claims.

The allegations follow an NLRB-supervised election held Aug. 3 and 4, where more than 3,500 employees at the plant voted by an almost 2-to-1 margin against joining the union. The UAW blamed the result on intimidation, which it has alleged to the NLRB included threatening to close the plant, questioning employees and infringing on the union’s access to voters.

The UAW submitted a partially redacted document to the NLRB that it said is evidence of Nissan’s rating system. The union said the document lists names and employee numbers along with comments such as “has talked with solicitors at the gate before a shift” and “has been seen hanging with pro-union technicians.”

Nissan’s plant in Canton, Mississippi, builds Altima sedans, Titan and Frontier pickups, Murano sport utility vehicles and NV commercial vans.