Nissan technicians at Tennessee plant vote against union representation

Nissan North America Inc. workers voted against unionization with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in an election on Thursday.

Nine of the tool and die technicians at the Smyrna, Tennessee plant voted to be represented by IAM, while 62 voted against union representation. There were no spoiled or contested ballots in the election, according to a spokesperson for the National Labor Relations Board.

The vote marks another failed labor campaign at a foreign automaker’s US plant, workplaces where organized labor has always struggled. It was also the culmination of a two-year battle to organize the election after the company objected to the unit’s small size and argued that any election should involve the plant’s 7,000 workers.

The NLRB rejected these arguments in a decision last monthjudging that the tool and die makers could be considered as a “micro-unit” because they work and are supervised separately from the workers of the rest of the establishment.

Nissan spokesman Lloryn Love-Carter said in a statement after the vote count that the company respects the results.

“Workers at a Nissan manufacturing plant again voted overwhelmingly against union representation and chose to maintain their direct relationship with the company,” she said. “We remain focused on collaborating with employees to advance our future together.”

IAM spokesman DeLane Adams said the results were due to the delay caused by NLRB litigation over the case.

“The National Labor Relations Board’s belated decision has had a chilling effect on this campaign,” Adams said. “IAM will continue to support these workers so that we are ready for them to join our union when the time comes.”

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