Nissan has denied claims that workers are being mistreated and disrespected at the facility.Nissan has issued a statement denying allegations of mistreatment from employees at its Canton, Mississippi, factory as dozens of protesters reportedly gathered not far from the company's North American headquarters in Tennessee.Canton plant press operator Ernest Whitfield told The Tennessean workers are being "mistreated" and "spoken to disrespectfully by management," while safety conditions "aren't up to par."
"It's just a lack of dignity we're having to deal with, and we're told we're ungrateful when we say we want to unionize," he added.
Whitfield was reportedly among a group of around 70 protesters gathered in Nashville, a short drive from Nissan's HQ in Franklin, Tennessee. Some signs are said to have referenced civil rights, while others called for Nissan to "stop threatening your workers."
Nissan issued a statement claiming it has a history that values employees and respects their right to organize.
"Nissan Canton and Smyrna employees enjoy good, stable, safe jobs with some of the highest wages and strongest benefits in Mississippi and Tennessee," the company added. "The allegations being made by the union against Nissan are completely unfounded."
The United Auto Workers has attempted to organize automobile assembly plants in the South for many years. A 2014 initiative to unionize Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant narrowly lost a vote and sparked a dispute between the UAW and the German automaker.