Nissan consumer relations is in serious trouble after it lost an arbitration case in Washington state’s courts.
The attorney representing Nissan, Mark Ochs, filed a lawsuit in Seattle today against the company, alleging it is not paying its workers overtime.
Och, who has been a consumer protection attorney for the past 14 years, said his clients are being treated unfairly by the company.
“It is time for Nissan to pay its employees a living wage,” Och said.
“That’s why we filed this lawsuit today.”
In a press release, Nissan said it will fight the suit.
“Nissan’s position is that the arbitration agreement, which has been in effect for more than a decade, does not create a new wage and hour standard,” the statement said.
Nissan said the arbitration process is the same one that the company uses in all other matters.
O’Sullivan said he was unaware of the suit until the lawsuit was filed, and he said he is “not aware of any other company that has done this in this manner.”
He said the company has no control over the labor disputes that are under dispute in the case.
“I think that they have been treated as though they are employees, and I think they are not,” O’Brien said.
Oech, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, said he would not comment further on the suit but said that he believes the arbitration system in Washington State does not meet the requirements of the National Labor Relations Act.
He said Nissan has failed to provide workers with any meaningful protections against retaliation and the unfair labor practices it allegedly engages in against them.
Ouch said he believes that Nissan’s decision to bring this suit comes at the behest of the United Auto Workers.
“They feel that they can continue to make it harder for workers to unionize and that they don’t have to answer to the public,” Ouch told FoxNews.com.
Oich added that he is not surprised Nissan is challenging the process.
“In the end, the labor unions are going to lose this case,” he said.
The union representing Nissan’s workers in Washington, which is the only labor union representing the company in the state, filed suit against Nissan in August.
The dispute was the first in the country involving a car manufacturer, and it could have major implications for the industry.
In May, the United Automobile Workers announced that it was stepping up efforts to fight back against wage theft in the industry by joining with labor groups to sue Nissan.
“This action is a reflection of the mounting pressure that the UAW has put on Nissan to address the unfair and excessive wages it pays its workers, including overtime, which are at the root of the case,” UAW President Joe Garofalo said in a statement at the time.
“We are pleased that the court heard this case and we look forward to further working together to bring Nissan to heel.”