Republicans Set to Lose a Vote, if Mississippi Union Dispute Goes Before NLRB

If workers vote to be represented by the UAW, it will create a bargaining unit of more than 4,000 employees at a plant where more than 6,000 people are on the payroll.If workers at a Nissan plant in Mississippi vote to be represented by the United Auto Workers, it will create a bargaining unit of more than 4,000 employees at a plant where more than 6,000 people are on the payroll. (Photo: Bill Pugliano / Getty Images)

One of Donald Trump’s picks to serve on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) could be disqualified from ruling on disputes arising from one the most high profile ongoing organizing efforts.

William Emanuel said this week, in ethics filings, that he will recuse himself for two years in matters involving Nissan, among other clients. He reiterated the position, when prompted, at a hearing held Thursday before the Senate Heath, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

United Auto Workers filed a petition with the NLRB earlier this week, on behalf of Nissan workers at a plant in Canton, Miss.–to proceed to an election to certify that the workers want to be represented by the union.

If workers vote to be represented by the UAW, it will create a bargaining unit of more than 4,000 employees at a plant where more than 6,000 people are on the payroll.

The UAW has tried, in recent years, without much success, to organize automotive plants located in the south. The organizing drive at the Canton factory garnered national attention earlier this year, when it involved a march and a rally featuring civil rights activists, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and actor Danny Glover.

In a press released issued Tuesday, UAW officials said that workers in Canton moved to hold an election “citing a pattern of labor abuses by Nissan against its predominantly African-American workforce.”

If confirmed by the Senate, Emanuel will have to sit out disputes involving Nissan because he represented the company while working for Littler Mendelson — a law-firm known for its union-busting expertise.

The UAW has already filed a number of unfair labor practice complaints against Nissan — filings that could themselves delay the union election,…

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