Elon Musk, the CEO of Telsa Motors, states that he is soliciting the UAW (United Auto Workers), the international union, to conduct a vote in the Tesla’s California factory. The announcement comes just three months after the billionaire Musk has criticized the American president Joe Biden administration and Democrats for providing union-made, U.S. – built electric automobiles an added tax incentive of $4,500. Tesla and other automakers do not have unions in their U.S. manufacturing plants.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) has difficulty organizing workers at foreign-owned automakers or electric vehicle startups assembly plants, the majority of which are located in the south-central U.S. south. However, if they can manage Tesla’s plant, it would be a significant victory for the union. Tesla has its plant situated in Austin, Texas.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, recently announced that he would be building a new Tesla factory in the Bay Area. On Thursday, Elon Musk tweets that the negative unemployment rate in the Bay Area is the main problem. He also said that not paying the people enough could cause them to leave the area because they have a variety of job options.
Musk states, “I would like to formally invite the United Auto Workers to hold a union vote whenever it is convenient for them. The Tesla Company will not do anything against them.”
UAW did not provide any immediate comment on Elon Musk’s tweet. However, analysts have said that his actions in the last year do not match with the words he uses.
America President Joe Biden has frequently admired the E.V. (electric vehicles) efforts made by the Ford Motor Company and the General Motors Company; both the companies sell fewer electric vehicles than the Tesla Company.
Musk has also confronted the wrath of Tesla’s National Labor Relations Board, which found that the company violated U.S. labor law last year. The board also demanded that Tesla Company remove a 2018 tweet stating employees would lose the stock option they have if they joined unions.
Tesla eventually appealed The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling to the New Orleans-based US appellate court, and the appeal is currently being heard.
In the tweet of 2018, Elon Musk wrote: “Nothing hinders the Tesla team at our vehicle manufacturing plant from voting for unions. It is possible to do this should they want to. Why pay union dues and forfeit stocks for no gain? The safety record at our company is twice as good as the time we were UAW, and everyone already has health insurance.”
The National Labor Relations Board also ordered Tesla Company to reinstatement one employee and rescind 2017 rules. The rules barred the distribution of union-related literature in the parking lot during non-work hours, and regulations prohibited the distribution of union-related pamphlets, leaflets, and stickers without having permission.
In November, ten advocacy and environmental groups called on electric vehicle startup Rivian to work with them to create a more sustainable future. The groups, which included Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters, praised Rivian for developing electric vehicles but urged the company to do more in terms of sustainability. According to the advocates, Rivian has the potential to be a leader in sustainable transportation and should do everything it can to live up to that potential.
The workers at Rivian’s factory located in Normal, Illinois, are not members of the union. Rivian has previously refused to comment on the issue and could not reach on Thursday after Musk’s tweet.
Tesla’s Fremont factory has been on the scene of many employee complaints for years. The most recent incident was when Black employees claimed they were subject to the adversity of racism documented in the February lawsuit brought by the DFEH (California Department of Fair Employment and Housing).
The complaint states that Black employees were subjected to graffiti and racist remarks and assigned physically strenuous positions. “Workers have referred to the workplace as ‘slaveship’ or ‘the plantation,’ where the defendant’s management leads to ‘crack the whip,'” the agency stated in the lawsuit.