Workers at Nissan Motor Co.'s Mississippi assembly plant began voting Thursday to decide whether to be represented by the United Auto Workers union.
The voting by 3,700 assembly and maintenance workers began before dawn inside the plant. The National Labor Relations Board will accept ballots through 7 p.m. today.
On one side are workers who say they need a union to give them a voice in their workplace, to protect against arbitrary treatment, and to bargain for better benefits and pay.
Other Nissan employees reject the idea of a union speaking for them. They fear the union would be an economic albatross, burdening an employer who pays them well.
Outside analysts assume the union is an underdog, since the United Auto Workers union has never fully organized a foreign-owned auto plant in the southern United States. But no one knows for sure.
"The vote will tell us the truth," said Bo Green, a Nissan worker who opposes the union.