UAW In Hopes of Unionizing Tesla's 5.3 Million Square Foot Fremont, CA Assembly Plant
UAW President Dennis Williams told reporters that the organization is still pursuing interest in unionizing Tesla Motors Fremont Assembly Plant. The plant in California is the only American-owned automotive assembly plant that is not part of the United Auto Workers.
UAW President Dennis Williams, Image Credit: Labor Union Report
The UAW, based out of Detroit, has been interested in unionizing Tesla for some time. The recent Tesla Model 3 reservations, coupled with the company's announcement to ramp up production estimates by two years has "upped the ante".
Tesla claims to be able to build 500,000 vehicles by 2018 (previously 2020). This is an extreme ramp up from 2015 figures, and will deem record-setting if achieved.
Williams was sure to clear the air about the UAW's plan, saying that they are "not approaching this in an adversarial way." He explained:
"We’re watching that (Tesla's production forecasts) very closely. We just believe workers ought to have a voice in the workplace, and they ought to have collective bargaining rights."
Since Tesla was considered a recent, small start-up, the union remained "out of the way" initially in their attempt of unionizing Tesla. If Tesla is able to to pull off projected numbers, the company will move into the 9th spot for sales of new vehicles in the U.S. No longer a "small start-up" in the eyes of any. Projections show Tesla passing Mercedes-Benz and BMW if everything falls into place as planned.
Williams is skeptical, as are many regarding whether or not Tesla can actually pull it all off. He said:
"I don’t think they’ve ever met their mark yet on production."
He verified that he has, in fact, met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. However, Williams wasn't clear as to the nature of the meeting or the conversation. He didn't comment about any "union" banter. The only anecdotes Williams shared about his time with Musk was that he found him as a "creative" and "very unique individual". Not unlike anything others have shared before after time with the iconic "celebrity" CEO.
It will be telling to see what comes of the situation. For Tesla to pull off what is being publicized and now expected, much hard work and long hours will be the only reality. As far as we know, no one has ever reported that working for Musk is "easy" or "laid back".
Unionizing Tesla could put a possible damper on things as they stand at the moment. Added to the past and current circumstances is now a veritable "whirlwind" of intensity. Here comes the big storm for Musk and company. We shall see how they fare, union or not.
Source: USA Today