JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A French parliamentarian is visiting Mississippi as part of an effort to pressure Nissan Motor Co. to allow workers at its Canton plant to organize a union.
Christian Hutin, deputy chairman of the Social Affairs Commission of the French National Assembly, is meeting Tuesday with workers, lawmakers and other supporters of the United Autoworkers efforts to unionize the plant’s 6,200 employees.
The French government has an ownership stake in Nissan’s business partner, the Renault Group, and pro-union advocates hope French officials can lobby the company.
It’s part of a continuing worldwide effort by the UAW to push Nissan to be more accepting of the union.
Unions fight for the working man and act as a counterbalance to the power of the capitalists. And there’s no reason why someone should not be able to avail themselves of such union protections–the right of association is as important a freedom as the right to free speech is. However, it’s also true that unions, just like any other form of human organization, can become stultified. They can become the problem rather than the solution to anything.
That was the case at Hostess, the producers of Twinkies. They went bust, twice, as a result of heinously bad union arrangements:
“Where the company just five years ago had 8,000 employees — 75 percent of whom were represented by unions — the company now says in filings that it has a “streamlined employee base” of roughly 1,170 workers. That workforce is the shadow of a once-vast empire, which shortly before its troubles totaled 22,000 workers across more than 40 bakeries.”