According to Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, the United Auto Workers labor union (UAW) has been invited to vote at its California factory.
An additional $4,500 tax incentive is being proposed for union-built, US-built electric vehicles, a move that was recently criticized by billionaire Elon Musk.
Neither Tesla nor other foreign automakers have unions at their factories in the United States.
For the UAW to organize a Tesla plant would be a major victory, since workers at foreign-owned automakers or electric vehicle startups, which are overwhelmingly located in the US south, have rarely backed them up. Austin is also home to a Tesla plant.
The real challenge is the negative unemployment in the Bay Area, where the factory is located. If people are not compensated well, they will leave since they have many job offers. That’s what Elon Musk said in his tweet on Thursday.
„I invite the UAW to hold a union vote when it is convenient for them. Tesla will not interfere with such a vote.
Analysts said Musk’s actions over the past year do not match the rhetoric he’s used. UAW could not comment on Musk’s tweet immediately.
Despite selling fewer EVs than Tesla, Joe Biden praises GM and Ford’s electric-vehicle efforts.
After Elon Musk complained repeatedly about being ignored by Biden this year, he acknowledged Tesla’s leadership role in making electric vehicles last month. Elon Musk had compared Biden earlier to a “damp sock puppet.” He claimed Biden’s EV policy appeared to be directed by labor unions last fall.
Tesla Director of Communications Elon Musk has also faced the ire of the National Labor Relations Board. This board ruled the company violated US labor law and ordered the company to delete a tweet Elon Musk made in 2018. This tweet said unions would result in employees losing their stock options.
The company appealed the NLRB decision with the US court of appeals in New Orleans, and that case is still pending.
Tesla’s car plant employees are free to vote union in a 2018 tweet from Elon Musk. Employees have until tomorrow to do so. What’s the point of paying union dues and giving up stock options? There is already healthcare for everyone since we have a 2X better safety record than when the plant was UAW.”
Additionally, the NLRB ordered Tesla to reinstate one former employee and to rescind its 2017 disciplinary rules that prohibited union literature distribution in its parking lot during non-work hours and that blocked union stickers, leaflets, and pamphlets from being distributed without permission.
The Sierra Club, Greenpeace and the League of Conservation Voters, along with 10 other environmental and advocacy groups, called on Rivian to join labor organizations to ensure a healthy future and secure jobs, and to allow union voting within its plants.
Unlike many Rivian plants, one in Normal, Illinois, does not have a union. After Musk’s tweet on Thursday, Rivian declined to comment on the matter and could not be reached.
Longstanding employee complaints have plagued Tesla’s Fremont factory. According to a lawsuit filed in February by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), Black employees experienced rampant racism.
The complaint claims that Black employees were subjected to racist slurs and graffiti, as well as being given the most physically challenging jobs.
Defendants’ production leaders ‘crack the whip’ at the factory, where workers called it a ‘slaveship’ or a plantation, the agency stated.