The Roots & Myths of the Tesla–Union Controversy

Controversy concerning Tesla and unionization started in 2018 when the UAW (the United Auto Workers union) claimed that Tesla fired a worker for making an try to position of abode up a union. We’ll safe to that and diverse union-connected actions and tweets listed here to supply unparalleled extra context to this overarching dialogue, a dialogue that’s most regularly oversimplified with one or two monumental claims.

This day, Tesla is peaceful being punished for myths and propaganda on this topic, and FUD (concern, uncertainty, and doubt) is peaceful being unfold about Elon Musk’s actions connected to it.

We’ve continuously supplied healthcare, hourly wages above union & Tesla stock. Moreover, free drinks & snacks. Strive to create it fun too. Top ten hourly workers cumulatively obtained Tesla stock now price $1M to $2M. No one needs UAW, so UAW keeps trashing Tesla & me by contrivance of third parties.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 17, 2018

In 2018, Elon responded to someone on Twitter who requested what the advantages of working for Tesla are. Elon identified that Tesla has continuously supplied healthcare, hourly wages that are higher than union rates, and even Tesla stock. Moreover integrated are free drinks and snacks. Many appear to maintain that Tesla treats its workers rather harshly, but this appears esteem rather a compelling pitch. It became once decrease than a month earlier that the Tesla–union controversy perceived to arise.

Elon Musk’s Tweets About Tesla Workers Unionizing

In 2018, Elon Musk shared his pointers on unions in assorted replies to tweets accusing him of being anti-union. Joe Marshal requested Elon when he would enable workers to compose a union, to which Elon replied,

“They are able to compose a union whenever they wish & there’s nothing I’m able to originate to dwell them. California is a truly pro-union teach. They correct don’t want to.”

This is a key thing that many critics appear to miss. It’s decrease than Elon whether Tesla workers compose a union or no longer. It’s as much as workers. In actuality, Elon and diverse Tesla mavens are no longer legally allowed to interfere with workers creating a union.

Joe replied with an article detailing UAW accusations that Tesla fired workers who wanted to unionize. Pick into legend the twelve months: 2018. Elon responded to this as properly.

“About 2% of Tesla, incl salaried & hourly, union & non-union had been let mosey in annual overview. Only known union particular person fired became once a man who consistently threatened non-union supporters verbally & on social media & lied about it.”

In a portray by Demonstrate, it became once falsely claimed that Tesla didn’t bear any yellow security lines on the element ground. When requested about hating the shade yellow, which became once a teach made by the portray, Elon clarified:

“Tesla factory literally has miles of painted yellow lines & tape. Document about forklifts no longer beeping is moreover bs. These are each demonstrably inaccurate, but had been reported as ‘details’ by Demonstrate.”

Somebody else replied that yellow lines are pleasing, but what about unions? And Elon talked about:

“Nothing stopping Tesla workers at our vehicle plant from balloting union. Would possibly perchance perchance perchance originate so tmrw in the occasion that they wanted. Nonetheless why pay union dues & quit stock alternate choices for nothing? Our security document is 2X higher than when plant became once UAW & all americans already will get healthcare.” [Note: It was later determined by the National Labor Relations Board that this tweet violated labor laws and must be deleted.]

Again, Elon identified that the decision to unionize or no longer is out of his hands. That’s a range for firm workers to create. Despite the indisputable truth that, he did safe dinged by the Nationwide Labor Family members Board for discouraging unionization with that tweet.

Elon moreover pointed to a now-deleted tweet by Parker Malloy that he never stopped a union vote.

“I’ve never stopped a union vote nor eliminated a union. UAW abandoned this factory. Tesla arrived & gave folks relieve their jobs. They haven’t forgotten UAW betrayed them. That’s why UAW can’t even safe folks to encourage a free BBQ, now to not whisper ample sigs for a vote.”

UAW Corruption

esteem significantly mosey gaze at how many UAW leaders bear gone to penal complex for stealing the union due cash that became once supposedly going to transfer to helping workers

— Complete Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) September 15, 2021

Earlier on the present time, The Washington Post shared an concept part on the corruption that is threatening Detroit’s comeback story. The article discussed the crookedness of politicians and labor-union corruption each being greeted with a yawn and the attitude of “What else is current?”

When Walter Reuther became once the president of UAW, it became once regarded as a perfect group for decades. That picture has been tarnished by faded presidents Gary Jones and Dennis Williams, who are serving penal complex sentences for embezzling hundreds and hundreds of bucks in union funds. The IRS discovered that they had been a part of a neighborhood of union officials that spent workers’ cash on lavish leisure, including extravagant meals, golf, and personal poke.

The IRS renowned that between 2010 and 2018, Jones and diverse UAW officials submitted untrue expense forms in quest of compensation from the UAW’s Detroit headquarters for spending on Situation 5 management and practising conferences. The IRS discovered that these conferences concealed many of of hundreds of bucks in UAW funds spent on private spending and indulgent leisure.

So, whereas the UAW became once falsely accusing Tesla of making an try to dwell workers from unionizing, their leaders had been stealing cash.

One other instance of corruption became once shared by WardsAuto, which renowned that Stellantis member FCA became once fined $30 million in corruption scandals. Stellantis became once regarded as one of many automakers invited to that candy exiguous White Condominium EV press tournament no longer too long in the past.

In March 2021, FCA pleaded guilty to one depend of conspiring to violate the Labor Management Family members Act. FCA wanted to maintain UAW leaders’ desire by giving them hundreds and hundreds of bucks in gifts and cash. FCA conspired to create illegal funds to UAW officers who would exhaust the funds for private expenses. Mortgages, extravagant leisure, lavish parties for the UAW Global Executive Board — nothing became once off limits. Italian-made shotgun designer sneakers, dresses, and diverse items had been bought with bank cards issued by the UAW-Chrysler Nationwide Training Center.

Closing Suggestions

I maintain that the UAW is making an try to punish Tesla workers for no longer searching to unionize. It appears to be attacking the very folks it says it needs to “defend.”

Tesla pay rates are higher than UAW pay rates. This appears to no longer topic to President Biden, who is a union guy. There’s nothing notorious with supporting unions in frequent — they are speculated to be a correct thing, after all. The concept that of making the jam of industrial gleaming, safe, and extra aggressive when it involves pay is on the final a correct thing. On the opposite hand, actuality would possibly well perchance be messy.

UAW’s previous attempts to tarnish Tesla due to Tesla’s workers no longer searching to unionize, coupled with its energy in the White Condominium, reveals that it truly doesn’t care concerning the employees at all.

Worship CleanTechnica’s originality? Pick into consideration turning correct into a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.


Beget a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to counsel a customer for our CleanTech Discuss podcast? Contact us here.

Learn More


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here