About half the 1,000 new employees Nissan is adding in Canton, Miss. have been hired, but they are technically contract workers hired by agencies, said Bill Krueger, senior vice president in charge of manufacturing, purchasing and supply chain management for Nissan North America.
"Every week we're hiring," Krueger said.
In June, Nissan said it will hire 1,000 new workers for the Canton plant that builds the Altima, Titan, Armada and NV commercial van. Nissan will also produce the 2013 Sentra compact the in December after a third shift begins
In addition, Nissan is moving Frontier and Xterra production to Canton from its Smyrna, Tenn., factory this fall and adding a second truck shift.
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.
"They come in through a contract agency, but we plan to have them for the long term," Krueger said in an interview here at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars.
"After the first five years we will transition them into the Nissan workforce," Krueger said. "We're expecting them to work here for a log time."
A full-time Nissan worker makes about $23 an hour while a second-tier employee of a Detroit automaker tops out about $19.28.
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.
Krueger said there is nothing new to report on efforts by the UAW to organize Nissan's plants in the southern states. It has been 11 years since the UAW has had a union vote at a foreign automaker's plant in the southern states but UAW President Bob King has made organizing a priority.
Earlier this summer the UAW made it clear the Canton plant is among its organizing targets.
It has been 11 years since the UAW has had a union vote at a foreign automaker's plant in the southern states but UAW President Bob King has made organizing a priority.
The UAW gained enough support to hold union elections at Smyrna, Tenn., in 1989 and 2001 but the union lost both times. In 2005 and 2007, the UAW did not win enough support to hold an election at the Canton plant.
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