Nissan tool and die workers vote against union at Tennessee plant

Tool and die workers at a Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, voted on Thursday against joining a union.

The vote wasn't close, providing the latest example of the challenges union organizers face at Southern auto plants.

Nissan spokeswoman Lloryn Love-Carter provided a company statement cheering the outcome, with workers opting not to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

More:UAW statement on $2B VW plant highlights right of workers to organize

"By a vote of 62 to 9 with 97% participation, workers at a Nissan manufacturing facility have again voted overwhelmingly against union representation and elected to maintain their direct relationship with the company. Nissan respects this decision, and we remain focused on working with employees to drive our future forward together," she said.

Union spokesman DeLane Adams provided a statement, saying the union would continue to support the workers "so we will be prepared for them to join our union when the time is right again."

The statement highlighted the length of the campaign, which began in 2021, with the union attempting to create a small group of organized workers within the plant rather than attempting to organize the entire facility. The plant, which is southeast of Nashville, produces a half-dozen vehicles and employs more than 7,000 workers.

More:Union vote at Nissan plant in Tennessee could have wider impact

“This campaign has had to overcome many obstacles over the past two years, including numerous litigations. The delayed decision from the National Labor Relations Board had a chilling effect on this campaign. The IAM respects the decision of Nissan Tool and Die. We had to wait almost two years for this group of tool and die maintenance technicians to be certified as craft employees and a standalone craft unit," the statement said, referencing the abbreviation for the union.

Although the campaign involved a small group of workers and was not being organized by the UAW, union watchers viewed the potential in the event of a win for a broader impact in a region seen as crucial for the future of unions in the auto industry. Instead, the results echo past failed organizing attempts at the Smyrna plant and others.

Contact Eric D. Lawrence: Become a subscriber.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Nissan tool and die unit rejects union at Tennessee plant