Sid Salter, columnist for a Mississippi paper, is right when he says “Worker benefits of unionizing Nissan Plant (Mississippi) remain unclear, especially to an anti-labor columnist. Of course anti-labor people with neo-feudal sympathies in a place where wages have routinely trailed the country wouldn’t, to quote a piece I wrote to the local paper, “remind the public of the benefits of labor solidarity (Labor Day, child labor laws, minimum wage, and workman compensation statues). No, that’s the unfilled role of comatose organized Labor in the U.S. This negligence allows Conservatives to easily substitute “taxpayers” for “workers” as misdirection in dialogue about fairness. The conversation is consequently principally about taxation as opposed to trade and good-paying jobs with benefits, which reduce government dependence. So when someone who discounts American labor’s contributions to the country’s general welfare celebrates the decline of unions and doesn’t mention the simultaneous wage stagnation and disappearance of defined benefit plans in this country, the average American doesn’t comprehend the implicit devaluation of the American worker. The Labor movements loud silence is the starting gun in this, American labor’s sprint down the real road to serfdom.”
The presence of unions didn’t destroy the Detroit auto-industry any more than they are destroying the German economy. For clarity Mr. Salter some of the issues at the Nissan plant” ”
Isiac Jackson, Chairman of Mississippians for Fairness at Nissan, says the plant may employ 5 thousand people, but many of those are temporary employees, paid well less than the average Nissan rate.
Jackson says, “Why can’t you hire the person and pay them the right salary? Does that make sense? Why is it that you (Nissan) can give all this money to an agency that pays half the price to the worker?”
“And no matter how hard he tries Mr. Salter will not be able to satisfactorily justify a defense of his position that American workers somehow don’t deserve something South African and Japanese workers have, unions. Contrary to Mr. Salter’s anti-labor contention, what is really spurring Japanese auto plants construction in the U.S., actually providing the foundation for their existence is not Mississippi’s Right-to-work-for-less law but American trade policy and state race-to-the-bottom-give-aways. While Mr. Salter talks about how unconvincing Danny Glover is as a union advocate, the southern media’s role in applauding and defending foreign owned auto plants for providing wages that “are not out of line with other non-union auto manufacturing plants in the region” has been very convincing in their depiction of labor as destroyer of Detroit auto dominance with ne’er a mention of heatlth care costs or managerial decisions. Clearly such a depiction reveals much of the southern anti-labor commentary to be little more than public relations work for foreign auto corporations. Of course if you are basically a Toyota or Nissan propagandist your blindness in this regard is expected.