Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Up to 4,000 workers at a Nissan factory in Canton, Miss., will vote Thursday and Friday on whether to join the United Auto Workers union. But even though many workers want a chance to negotiate for better working conditions, many also fear losing their job in an economically depressed area for blue collar workers.
"Most of us just have a high school education," said quality technician Kim Barber, who opposes the union, according to The New York Times. "I'm almost 50. I can't go anywhere else."
But union supporter Annie Matthews said Mississippi workers shouldn't sacrifice their rights just because they live in an area with few economic opportunities.
"Nissan knew what they were doing when they put their plant around here," she said, referring to the lower wages and looser worker regulations in Mississippi.
"Fear is the crucial element that they use in sustaining the power over workers -- fear," Glover said at the rally organized by pro-union activists who have accused Nissan executives and local politicians of intimidating workers before the vote, reported USA Today.
UAW secretary-treasurer Gary Casteel has even accused Nissan of "running one of the nastiest anti-union campaigns in the modern history of the American labor movement."
He added: "The company's investors as well as socially conscious policy makers in the U.S. and around the world need to understand what's happening in Mississippi and join local civil rights leaders in calling for a halt to Nissan's illegal and unethical behavior."
Nissan, meanwhile, denies its Canton workers are being treated unfairly, especially by Mississippi standards.
"The 6,400 Canton employees enjoy good, stable, safe jobs with some of the best wages and benefits in Mississippi," the company said in a statement. "Nissan Canton workers enjoy pay and benefits that are among the best in Mississippi, a safe work environment, and a history of job security that exceeds UAW-organized plants."