French official visits Mississippi to back union at Nissan

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.

Chrisitian Hutin, deputy chairman of the Social Affairs Commission of the French National Assembly, is meeting Tuesday with workers, lawmakers and others who back efforts by the United Autoworkers to unionize the 6,200-employee complex.

UAW supporters hope French officials can pressure Nissan through the French government’s ownership stake in Nissan’s business partner, the Renault Group.

Hutin and the union say Nissan unfairly pressures workers to vote against a union, but Nissan denies that. The company opposes a union, but Nissan spokeswoman Parul Baraj says the company respects labor law and that employees are free to support or reject the UAW.