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Nissan to cut up to 700 contract workers in Mississippi

MGN Online

Nissan Motor Co. announced Thursday that it's cutting up to 700 contract workers at its Mississippi assembly plant, citing slowing sales for vans and Titan pickup trucks that it makes there.

Posted: Jan 17, 2019 1:28 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Nissan Motor Co. announced Thursday that it's cutting up to 700 contract workers at its Mississippi assembly plant, citing slowing sales for vans and Titan pickup trucks that it makes there.

The move follows Nissan's December announcement that it's cutting 1,000 jobs at two Mexican factories. Reports in May indicated the Japanese automaker would cut production by up to 20 percent in North America, citing low profits.

Thursday's move comes after the arrest in Japan of former chairman Carlos Ghosn, who led a production expansion in Nissan's largest market. The company has struggled to sell all those vehicles in recent years, turning heavily to incentives and fleet sales to soak up the excess. Spokeswoman Lloryn Love-Carter said the cuts are unrelated to Ghosn's ouster as chairman and new managers taking over at Nissan.

Nissan has 6,400 direct employees and contract workers who labor side-by-side on production lines in Canton, Mississippi, just north of Jackson. The company has long prided itself on a no-layoff pledge for its direct employees in Canton, and Love-Carter said any affected direct employees would be moved to new jobs. But that doesn't apply to contract workers, who were cut sharply during the recession.

Love-Carter said the company is offering a buyout to workers 55 or older, and that at least some layoffs over the next 60 days could also be averted as workers quit through attrition.

"We are doing all we can to mitigate the impact to the associate workforce," Love-Carter said.

The company will reduce production of NV cargo and passenger vans from two shifts to one. It will reduce production of Frontier and Titan pickups from three shifts to two. Sales of the larger Titan fell 5 percent in 2018 to about 50,000, while sales of the smaller Frontier rose 7 percent to 80,000. The Frontier will also face challenges in coming months, as Ford and Fiat Chrysler's Jeep division introduce new small trucks. Nissan plans a new-model Frontier to be made in Canton, which has a 450,000-vehicle capacity.

The company also assembles Altima sedans and Murano SUVs in Mississippi.

Love-Carter said production will fall and some jobs will be cut by attrition at Nissan's 1,600-employee engine factory in Decherd, Tennessee, but that Thursday's announcement doesn't affect its 8,400-employee Smyrna, Tennessee, factory.

Mississippi officials have pointed with pride to Nissan, the state's first major automaker. The company says it has invested $3.4 billion in Canton since it opened in 2003, and the company has received what could be more than $1 billion worth of subsidies and tax breaks over 30 years.

Nissan went through a bruising union election at the Canton plant in 2017, with workers rejecting United Auto Workers representation. At the time, 3,700 of the workers on the campus were direct Nissan employees. More than 62 percent of those direct Nissan employees voted against the union.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
Lauderdale6067192
Lowndes5490120
Lafayette511794
Lamar499865
Washington4904125
Bolivar4087109
Oktibbeha403581
Panola380981
Pontotoc374757
Monroe3651106
Warren3649103
Union353263
Marshall352069
Neshoba3464154
Pearl River3422105
Leflore3090109
Lincoln304287
Sunflower290373
Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
Yazoo253756
Prentiss251153
Copiah247649
Tippah247550
Coahoma245954
Simpson241471
Leake236167
Grenada222471
Marion220273
Covington219072
Adams212370
Wayne208432
Winston205870
George203539
Newton197346
Attala196461
Tishomingo193861
Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
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