The Tesla Fremont Factory
Following the recent press surrounding a Tesla employee's complaints about work conditions, the United Auto Workers sent a team of organizers to the Tesla Fremont Factory to attempt to facilitate unionization.
UAW President Dennis Williams knows that unionizing the Tesla Fremont Factory would be a significant and much needed victory for labor unions.
UAW president, Dennis Williams, verified the union's presence at Fremont and made a reference to last week's events. He said:
“I thought it was bizarre that all that took place. It’s uncharacteristic of Elon to attack his employees as quickly as he did.”
As the UAW reported last week, other Tesla Fremont Factory employees have also approached the organization for support. In fact, the UAW has been in contact with some of them for over six months. The workers reported long hours and unsafe working conditions. Williams shared:
“We have organizers out there. I do have a guy I hired who is a labor organizer but there’s nothing abnormal about it.”
The UAW has been hopeful to organize Tesla for some time now. U.S. union membership has diminished over the years, and just last week, Boeing voted against unionization. This was another critical hit for labor unions. The percent of U.S. workers that now belong to a labor union is at an all-time low of 10.7 percent.
The union has failed to organize German, Japanese, or Korean automakers in the U.S. and it is facing difficult odds in its attempt to unionize Tesla. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that the company is "union neutral," meaning that workers can choose to organize if they desire. However, he has warned investors of the increased costs associated with work stoppages, employee dues, and other concerns.
Tesla vehicles are markedly expensive in the first place, and building a successful, monumental company, from the ground up, is an extraordinary feat. It comes as no surprise that, in over 113 years, no other company has pulled it off. Ford was the last successful U.S. automaker, prior to Tesla, and Ford has been on the verge of bankruptcy, along with facing many other detrimental issues in the recent past.