Construction workers at the Tesla Gigafactory site in Nevada walked off the job today, reports local news station KOLO.
As part of the protest, an estimated 350 local workers left their jobs, leaving approximately 60 laborers still working on site.
The protest comes from a local labour union who is against Tesla outsourcing some of its jobs to a third party, non-union contractor, Brycon Construction. Given the $1.4 billion in tax incentives the car company received to build its factory, union workers feel that the jobs should be kept for local, Nevada construction workers.
“Today’s activity stems from the local Carpenters Union protesting against one of the third party construction contractors that Tesla is using at the Gigafactory,” a Tesla spokesperson told Business Insider. “Their issue is not with how Tesla treats its workers. Their issue is that of the many third party contractors that are involved in the construction of the Gigafactory, many are union but the one at issue is not.”
Nevada requires that at least 50 per cent of employees to be from the state, and Tesla argues that it well exceeds that mark.
“The union is also claiming that this contractor is somehow favouring out of state workers,” the spokesperson added. “In reality, more than 50% of the workers used by this contractor and more than 75% of the entire Gigafactory workforce are Nevada residents, demonstrating the project’s strong commitment to Nevada.”
Brycon Construction could not be reached for comment.