Grimes says boyfriend Elon Musk never tried to stop Tesla workers from unionizing, calls it 'fake news' in a now-deleted tweet

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Huffington PostElon Musk and Grimes.

  • The Canadian musician Grimes, who is dating Tesla CEOElon Musk, wrote that Musk has not prevented Tesla employees from unionizing in a now-deleted tweet, BuzzFeed reports.
  • Grimes’ tweet followed a series of tweets Musk wrote on Sunday, in which he said employees at Tesla’s production plant haven’t unionized because “they just don’t want to.”
  • A unionization effort at the company’s Fremont, California, factory began in 2017.
  • Tesla and Musk have denied claims of retaliation against pro-union employees.

The Canadian musician Grimes, who is dating Tesla CEO Elon Musk, wrote that Musk has not prevented Tesla employees from unionizing in a now-deleted tweet, BuzzFeed reports.

“he has never prevented them from unionizing it’s quite literally fake news. trust me, i’ve investigated this heavily and even visited factories etc,” she wrote on Monday. “i have the receipts but since it effects [sic] others i’ll wait til i ama w imminent new music b4 i answer more queries.”

Grimes tesla tweetTwitter / Grimezsz

Grimes’ tweet followed a series of tweets Musk wrote on Sunday, in which he said employees at Tesla’s production plant haven’t unionized because “they just don’t want to.”

“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. 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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