A group of around 86 Nissan North America Inc. technicians at a Tennessee manufacturing plant can vote on unionization, the U.S. labor board ruled, rejecting the company’s argument that any union election should include thousands more employees.
The tool and die technicians “are highly skilled,” “have separate supervision” and are performing functions that are distinct from their co-workers, a panel of three Democratic members of the US National Labor Relations Board wrote in their Thursday ruling, which overturned a decision by a regional director of the agency.
The ruling clears the way for workers at the Nissan plant, in Smyrna, Tennessee, to vote on whether to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, commonly known as the Machinists. Organized labor has struggled to establish footholds at foreign automakers’ US plants. Workers at a Mississippi Nissan plant voted against joining the United Auto Workers in 2017.