Elon Musk said Tesla employees haven't unionized because they don't want to

  • Tesla CEOElon Musk said employees at the company’s production plant haven’t unionized because “they just don’t want to” on Sunday.
  • A unionization effort at the company’s Fremont, California, factory began in 2017, and the United Auto Workers Union filed a complaint with the National Labour Relations Board claiming Tesla fired employees who had attempted to unionize.
  • Tesla and Musk have denied claims of retaliation toward pro-union employees.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said employees at the company’s production plant haven’t unionized because “they just don’t want to” on Sunday.

“They can form a union whenever they want & there’s nothing I can do to stop them,” he wrote. “California is a very pro-union state. They just don’t want to.”

A February 2017 Medium post from a Tesla employee describing challenging work conditions at the Fremont, California, plant where Tesla makes its cars led to a unionization effort from some employees at the factory. In October, the United Auto Workers (UAW) filed a complaint with the National Labour Relations Board claiming Tesla fired employees who had attempted to unionize.

Tesla denied the UAW’s accusations at the time and, on Sunday, Musk addressed them on Twitter.In response to a Twitter user who asked about the UAW’s complaint, Musk said a small percentage of Tesla employees were fired last year after performance reviews.

“About 2% of Tesla, incl salaried & hourly, union & non-union were let go in annual review,” Musk wrote. “Only known union person fired was a guy who repeatedly threatened non-union supporters verbally & on social media & lied about it.”

In April, the Center for Investigative Reporting published an investigative report saying Tesla had misreported workplace injuries and failed to take some safety measures at the Fremont factory. The report said Tesla failed to report injuries employees incurred while at work or mislabeled them, avoided some safety markings for aesthetic reasons, and insufficiently trained some employees for dangerous work.

In a blog post, Tesla denied the allegations in the report, calling it “a completely false picture of Tesla and what it is actually like to work here” and “an ideologically motivated attack by an extremist organisation working directly with union supporters to create a calculated disinformation campaign against Tesla.”

Two days after the article was published, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health confirmed it was investigating workplace conditions for Tesla employees.

If you’ve worked for Tesla and have a story to share, you can contact this reporter at [email protected]

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