Sunderland Nissan workforce to be awarded Freedom of the City

Nissan’s workforce are the first civilian workforce to be awarded freedom of the city after Councillors unanimously voted on November 23.

The notice regarding their decision, said: “This council congratulates wholeheartedly the Nissan workforce for their sterling efforts in securing the future production of the Qashqai and x-trail models, and feels that it is right and proper for the workforce of Nissan to receive the freedom of the city at a future date.”

The freedom of the City is an accolade to people or organisations that have mad outstanding contributions to the wellbeing and community spirit of the city of Sunderland.

The news comes after Nissan announced last month that it would continue to apply its trade at its Sunderland plant, which employs over 7,000 people, despite the Uk’s exit from the European union.

Cllr. Paul Watson, leader of the City Council, said: “We finally have the for the first time the secret of Nissan’s success – It’s the workforce.”

“There is a spirit and enthusiasm that makes Sunderland a very special place. Nissan’s successes would not have been possible without the people of Sunderland.”

In the 30 years since Nissan started production in Sunderland, over eight million vehicles have rolled out of the Washington based factory.

With unanimous support from the council chamber and acceptance as City policy, the council will now look to further arrangements for a Nissan freedom ceremony sometime in early 2017.

Cllr. Andrew Watson, who represents the Passfield ward of Peterlee, said: “I believe that it’s well deserved, they have a fantastic workforce.

“They’re the best car manufacturer I believe in the world, definitely in Europe.”

Other recent recipients of the Freedom of the City include Niall Quinn MBE, former Sunderland goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery BEM, the crew of the HMS Ocean, and Joël Batteux, the mayor of Sunderland’s twin-town St Nazaire.

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