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UAW workers bring protests to the Auto Show

Jan 22, 2015

  Amidst the buzz over the shiny new cars, trucks and SUVs on display at the North American International Auto Show are voices of protest. They represent workers at Nissan's assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi who feel betrayed by the automaker's promise of good jobs.

Jimmy Juracek is with the United Auto Workers union, where he's assistant director of the organizing department.

He spent time at the NAISA handing out flyers and talking to visitors about the working conditions at Nissan.

Juracek says Nissan continues to hire workers for temporary positions with the promise of hiring them full time, but they never follow through.

Instead, he says, workers are employed by agencies such as Kelly Services, based out of southeast Michigan, who place them at Nissan's plants without the benefits of full-time employees. Juracek says workers can stay there for years and never receive the benefits or wages of full employees. He says 50% of the workers at Nissan's plant in Canton, Mississippi, and 65% in Smyrna, Tennessee, are temporary workers.

Morris Mock works at Nissan's plant in Canton, Mississippi and says many temporary workers are disheartened by working next to full time employees who make up to $10 more an hour for the same amount of work. He describes temporary employees as often working through injuries for fear they will lose their job if they take time to seek medical attention.

The North American International Auto Show was just one stop for Juracek, who says he'll continue to spread his message at auto shows around the country.

Listen to our conversation with Juracek and Mock today at 3 p.m.