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News > Companies
UAW loses Nissan vote
October 4, 2001: 7:03 a.m. ET

Autoworkers fail in latest attempt to represent Japanese-owned U.S. plants
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - The United Autoworkers Union has failed in its attempt to organize a Nissan Motor Co. plant in Smyrna, Tenn., as hourly workers there voted better than 2-to-1 against representation.

The vote concluded late Wednesday was yet another unsuccessful attempt by auto unions to gain a beachhead at the 16 car assembly plants opened in North America by Japanese or German automakers.

Nissan (NSANY: Research, Estimates), Japan's No. 2 automaker behind Toyota Motor Corp. (TM: Research, Estimates) and just ahead of Honda Motor Co. (HMC: up $1.87 to $68.50, Research, Estimates), said the vote should be a clear sign to the union that employees at the plant outside of Nashville did not want to be unionized. The company's statement said the vote was 3,103 to reject the union, and 1,486 for representation, and marked the fourth attempt in 12 years to win representation.

"The contest has been a long and hard one and it's been disruptive, but our employees have made their choice clear," said the company's statement. "We hope now that the UAW will respect their wishes."

The union issued a statement accusing management of using pressure tactics such as surveillance of union supporters and threats to close the plant in order to win the election. It vowed to continue its efforts in the future.

"Obviously we're disappointed that the UAW supporters at Nissan came up short in this election after working so hard and standing up to Nissan's intense anti-union campaign," said a statement from Stephen Yokich, the union's president.

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The only Japanese-owned U.S. auto plant with a unionized work force is a Mitsubishi plant in Illinois that opened as a joint venture between the Japanese car maker and Chrysler and which still makes cars for that unit of DaimlerChrysler. That plant had a two-day strike in late August before the UAW and Mitsubishi reached agreement on a new four-year pact. There are some other joint venture plants that have unionized work forces as well.

Nissan's American depositary receipts closed Wednesday at $8.55, down 16 cents. graphic

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