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.

Confirmed Cases: 115088

Reported Deaths: 3255
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
Oktibbeha202454
Bolivar201677
Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
Covington97527
Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23129377
Mobile16849315
Tuscaloosa10296140
Montgomery10197197
Madison928096
Shelby733863
Baldwin663769
Lee653465
Calhoun456761
Marshall438150
Etowah426551
Houston414834
Morgan412035
DeKalb338829
Elmore320053
St. Clair292542
Limestone284230
Walker277292
Talladega265335
Cullman244024
Lauderdale226242
Jackson214915
Franklin205231
Autauga204831
Colbert200532
Russell19443
Blount192525
Chilton186932
Dallas186527
Coffee176311
Dale175151
Covington174029
Escambia172530
Chambers135044
Clarke134317
Pike133513
Tallapoosa131787
Marion107629
Barbour10319
Marengo100822
Butler100740
Winston92213
Geneva9007
Lawrence85032
Pickens84718
Bibb82814
Randolph82316
Hale76730
Washington74412
Clay74112
Cherokee73314
Lowndes70928
Henry7086
Bullock64817
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60630
Perry5896
Fayette57413
Wilcox56712
Conecuh56113
Cleburne5568
Macon53420
Lamar4905
Sumter47221
Choctaw39012
Greene34216
Coosa2033
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