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Burning and sinking word job in water surface over white as a result of the financial crisis.
Nissan is in the process of hiring one-thousand workers at its Canton, Mississippi plant. Normally this would be considered great news; however, what Nissan is doing is part of a disturbing trend. While all of the new hires will be full-time at the plant, they are not Nissan employees, at least not for five years.
The new hires are temporary full-time workers. Their starting wage is in the $12 range, subject to increase every six months but topping out after five years.
The new hires are temps with a five year probationary period. That is right, a five year probationary period. Per Bill Krueger, senior vice President in charge of manufacturing, purchasing and supply chain management for Nissan North America,
“After the first five years we will transition them into the Nissan workforce. We’re expecting them to work here for a long time.”

Asked why it takes five years for new workers to reach a wage comparable to full-time Nissan employees, Krueger said “most skilled jobs need that much time.”

Now, I cannot imagine any job where it takes five years to train someone to be proficient, skilled or unskilled. If the Army can train someone to be a combat ready helicopter pilot in nine months I am pretty sure you can teach someone how to run the complex machinery used in a modern automotive factory in about the same amount of time.

Why is Nissan hiring temporary employees? Well, there is no smoking gun, but, the fact that the UAW has targeted the Canton plant for organization probably has something to do with it.

To me, this is a disturbing trend. Instead of hiring permanent employees corporate America is hiring temp employees instead, while this is great for the employer, low wages and no benefits. It is horrible for the employee – no benefits, low pay, and no stability. It also makes it difficult if not impossible to organize workers.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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