The ongoing UAW strike against the Detroit Three may impact Tesla workers' wages as well, according to Barclays senior autos analyst Dan Levy.
Speaking with CNBC's "The Exchange" (via Teslarati), Levy said Tesla workers' wages would probably increase if the UAW strike ends with an agreement on increasing worker pay at Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis.
Ford and GM are already paying their hourly workers more than Tesla, so if the UAW's demands on higher pay are met, Ford and GM's pay gap with Tesla will widen. Dan Levy said the strike would affect the labor costs of all automakers in the United States, including Tesla, which will likely have to increase pay for its workers to avoid the risk of unionizing.
"We think their costs will increase. This is naturally going to happen, not only across Tesla but probably also across the trans plant OEMs. I think this is naturally the case. Can they unionize? We've noted in the past that it's been a tougher effort by the UAW, and that in part has been because Tesla has benefitted from paying its employees with stock comp," Levy said.
Gallery: Tesla Fremont Factory
He pointed out that with Tesla's stock now where it is, Tesla workers may not get the same types of stock compensaton benefits in the future, which is why Barclays believes wages are going to increase for Tesla workers.
This is an interesting prediction given Tesla CEO Elon Musk's recent remarks that the UAW's demands would likely drive Detroit's Big Three into the fast lane toward bankruptcy.
Does he believe that a pay rise for Tesla workers would have the same effect on his company? We can't say, but it's hard to think of a scenario where Musk would face demands for a 40-percent pay rise for Tesla workers like the UAW is currently asking from the Detroit Three.
Tesla remains the only major American automaker not represented by a union in the US, and Musk's negative opinion toward unionized labor in relation to Tesla is well documented.
The United Auto Workers and Workers United trade unions have sought to unionize Tesla's workers in California and New York, respectively, but Elon Musk has thwarted all attempts so far.