/Nissan Canton plant lays off 4,000 workers to slow coronavirus spread

Nissan Canton plant lays off 4,000 workers to slow coronavirus spread

Nissan temporarily laid off approximately 4,000 employees from its Canton plant this week due to the pandemic. Although the company intends to restart production on April 27, it hasn’t yet determined how to safely bring back employees. Lloryn Love Carter, a Nissan spokesperson, stated that safety is paramount. “When there are that many people in the plant, we don’t want to cause the cases to grow.” Nissan’s approach is different from other large companies in Mississippi that continue to operate in that state, like Ingalls Shipbuilding which has 11,500 employees in Pascagoula. It has reported 13 cases of COVID-19 among its employees. Ingalls has done deep cleaning and sanitizing, as have other employers to stop the spread of the virus. Nissan encourages workers to apply for unemployment. The maximum weekly benefit in Mississippi is $235. The federal legislation that was passed last week increases this amount by $600. However, Dianne Bell, spokesperson for the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, said Monday that the state doesn’t yet know when it will start. This increase will make it easier to support jobless workers during this time. It was a factor in Nissan’s decision not to lay off workers. Love-Carter stated that the enhanced benefits provided by the CARES Act gave them some comfort in making this decision. A record 31,000 Mississippians applied for unemployment during the month of March. This was after the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw many businesses shuttered and events cancelled. The layoffs by Nissan could lead to more claims from an agency that is already struggling with the increase in demand. Canton’s Nissan plant was established in 2003. It received $1.3 billion in tax incentives in the first decade. This is considered one of Mississippi’s most important economic achievements. The Canton plant was once home to over 6,000 people. Recent sales declines have led to layoffs. The plant now employs 5,250 people. This includes a large number of temporary workers who don’t get the same benefits as Nissan employees. About 1,250 of the current employees are maintenance, administrative, and managerial workers. They can work even if production is stopped. Some also work remotely. Love-Carter stated that the plant plans to resume operations within three weeks and then hire back all employees. However, the company will “continue monitoring and making adjustments as necessary.”_x000D