Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders stood with thousands at a pro-union rally near Nissan Motor Co.'s plant in Canton, Mississippi, congratulating workers for their courage "in standing up for justice."
The United Automobile Workers has long struggled to unionize foreign-owned auto plants across the South. It lost two votes at Nissan's plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, and no vote has been held in Canton. Mississippi's political and business establishment is generally hostile to unions, and Gov. Phil Bryant's opposition is clear.
The protest was organized by the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan, a coalition of civil rights leaders, ministers and worker advocates that has been supporting the unionizing drive. Union workers are paid 27% more on average, are more likely to receive paid family and medical leave and tend to have better benefits.