Tesla “Employee” Complains, Musk Disputes Claims, UAW Chimes In



Due to the intense time constraints associated with the production release of the Tesla Model 3, Tesla workers are putting in many extra hours.

Due to the intense time constraints associated with the production release of the Tesla Model 3, Tesla workers are putting in many extra hours.

Just the other day, a current Tesla Fremont factory “employee” wrote a piece on Medium pointing out a myriad of issues with the company’s work conditions. Highlights included concerns such as mandatory unpaid overtime, low wages, equipment situations leading to work-related injuries, unfair confidentiality policies, employees fear speaking to superiors, and finally, the lack of a labor union.

Elon Musk refers to Tesla as "union neutral."

Elon Musk refers to Tesla as “union neutral.”

Wow! He covered a whole lot of material … and quite eloquently. Jose Moran’s whole piece is attached below, if you want to read it for yourself, without clicking around. Rather than rehashing the letter’s every detail, you can see it first-hand.

We waited to get this info out, as throughout the past day or so, it seems the story has changed numerous times.

First of all, there wasn’t – and still isn’t – proof that Moran even works for Tesla. There was speculation that Moran was planted by the UAW, Elon Musk has made a statement, the UAW has made a statement, posts have been updated and “re-updated”, and updates have been made to the updates. Kind of a mess really. In sifting through it all, this is what we know now so far:

Following Moran’s post, Gizmodo wrote a piece on it, and Elon Musk responded to the publication, via direct message on Twitter. He denied all claims, and only admitted:

“There is sometimes mandatory overtime if we are trying to make up for a production stoppage, but it is dropping almost every week.”

Musk also told Gizmodo:

“Our understanding is that this guy was paid by the UAW to join Tesla and agitate for a union. He doesn’t really work for us, he works for the UAW. Frankly, I find this attack to be morally outrageous. Tesla is the last car company left in California, because costs are so high. The UAW killed NUMMI and abandoned the workers at our Fremont plant in 2010. They have no leg to stand on.”

Tesla also explained that the confidentiality agreement is specifically in place to keep product launches and unreleased features safe. Todd Maron, a Tesla lawyer explained:

“The company respected their workers’ rights to speak freely, but wanted to curb unauthorized disclosures about product launches and vehicle features.”

Some Model S Sedans Get Assembled In Tesla’s Fremont, California Plant

Even more interesting is that the publication couldn’t find any specific information proving that a person named Jose Moran works for Tesla, and the Medium post fails to provide any specific information about Moran. Gizmodo reportedly checked social media and other sources, as well as LinkedIn. Shortly after the Gizmodo post, Moran seemed to suddenly have a LinkedIn page showing that he works for Tesla.

The UAW commented back about Musk’s claims:

“Mr. Moran is not and has not been paid by the UAW. We would hope that Tesla would apologize to their employee.” 

“We can confirm that Mr. Moran and others at Tesla, have approached the UAW and we welcome them with open arms.”

The Fremont factory is the only U.S. auto facility, owned by an American automaker, that is not unionized. Elon Musk has referred to Tesla as “union neutral.” This basically means that the workforce can organize to unionize if it chooses. A Tesla spokesperson shared:

“This is not the first time we have been the target of a professional union organizing effort such as this.”

“The safety and job satisfaction of our employees here at Tesla has always been extremely important to us. We have a long history of engaging directly with our employees on the issues that matter to them, and we will continue to do so because it’s the right thing to do.”

Moran has now posted a video on Facebook (below) at the page entitled, “A Fair Future At Tesla”:

Jose Moran’s post on Medium:

Time for Tesla to Listen

“I’m proud to be part of a team that is bringing green cars to the masses. As a production worker at Tesla’s plant in Fremont for the past four years, I believe Tesla is one of the most innovative companies in the world. We are working hard to build the world’s #1 car — not just electric, but overall. Unfortunately, however, I often feel like I am working for a company of the future under working conditions of the past.

Most of my 5,000-plus coworkers work well over 40 hours a week, including excessive mandatory overtime. The hard, manual labor we put in to make Tesla successful is done at great risk to our bodies.

Preventable injuries happen often. In addition to long working hours, machinery is often not ergonomically compatible with our bodies. There is too much twisting and turning and extra physical movement to do jobs that could be simplified if workers’ input were welcomed. Add a shortage of manpower and a constant push to work faster to meet production goals, and injuries are bound to happen.

A few months ago, six out of eight people in my work team were out on medical leave at the same time due to various work-related injuries. I hear that ergonomics concerns in other departments are even more severe. Worst of all, I hear coworkers quietly say that they are hurting but they are too afraid to report it for fear of being labeled as a complainer or bad worker by management.

Ironically, many of my coworkers who have been saying they are fed up with the long hours at the plant also rely on the overtime to survive financially. Although the cost of living in the Bay Area is among the highest in the nation, pay at Tesla is near the lowest in the automotive industry.

Most Tesla production workers earn between $17 and $21 hourly. The average auto worker in the nation earns $25.58 an hour, and lives in a much less expensive region. The living wage in Alameda county, where we work, is more than $28 an hour for an adult and one child (I have two). Many of my coworkers are commuting one or two hours before and after those long shifts because they can’t afford to live closer to the plant.

While working 60–70 hours per week for 4 years for a company will make you tired, it will also make you loyal. I’ve invested a great deal of time and sacrificed important moments with my family to help Tesla succeed. I believe in the vision of our company. I want to make it better.

I think our management team would agree that our plant doesn’t function as well as it could, but until now they’ve underestimated the value of listening to employees. In a company of our size, an “open-door policy” simply isn’t a solution. We need better organization in the plant, and I, along with many of my coworkers, believe we can achieve that by coming together and forming a union.

Many of us have been talking about unionizing, and have reached out to the United Auto Workers for support. The company has begun to respond. In November, they offered a raise to employees’ base pay — the first we’ve seen in a very long time.

But at the same time, management actions are feeding workers’ fears about speaking out. Recently, every worker was required to sign a confidentiality policy that threatens consequences if we exercise our right to speak out about wages and working conditions. Thankfully, five members of the California State Assembly have written a letter to Tesla questioning the policy and calling for a retraction.

I’m glad that someone is standing up for Tesla workers, and we need to stand up for ourselves too. The issues go much deeper than just fair pay. Injuries, poor morale, unfair promotions, high turnover, and other issues aren’t just bad for workers — they also impact the quality and speed of production. They can’t be resolved without workers having a voice and being included in the process.

Tesla isn’t a startup anymore. It’s here to stay. Workers are ready to help make the company more successful and a better place to work. Just as CEO Elon Musk is a respected champion for green energy and innovation, I hope he can also become a champion for his employees. As more of my coworkers speak out, I hope that we can start a productive conversation about building a fair future for all who work at Tesla.”

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138 Comments on "Tesla “Employee” Complains, Musk Disputes Claims, UAW Chimes In"

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Sure doesn’t sound like a UAW undercover agent. And Elon should be ashamed of playing the “paid agitator” Trump card without proof

When it comes to Twitter rants and propaganda, Trump and Musk are birds of a feather. It’s no wonder Musk has pledged support for the regime.

i suspect that there is much truth in your allegation, but there is also the consideration that tesla is a business that is heavily dependent on government policy (e.g. direct subsidies and tax credits that encourage customers to buy tesla stuff), so musk is going to want to cozy up to the government regardless of the political party that is in power. in the case of president obama, he was already in favor of the kinds of policies that musk wanted, so there was less incentive for musk to ally himself as closely with president obama.

EV tax credit most likely will run out by the time Tesla 3 ships. Even now, people who can afford $100K cars won’t blink about $7.5K tax credit. Tesla car business is not highly impacted.

But SolarCity could be impacted. And Musk ideology (cult of climate change gloom and doom) that is far more impacted.

Going back to the issue of unions, if I take huge risks in getting a business running successfully, some bozos who put in 8 hours a day (if that) come in and demand as if they own the company and tell me how to run it? If they don’t like the working conditions, LEAVE! It’s not like Musk is holding a gun to their heads to work at Tesla.

I couldn’t agree more with the point made in your last paragraph. That is what it means to be free market.

Are YOU paid by UAW?

No, “Four Electrics” is just a serial anti-Tesla FUDster, and almost certainly either a stock short-seller or a shill for Big Oil… or both.

Sadly, one of several disrupting useful discussion in this very thread. 🙁

If you want to see safe and clean car making watch German companies on YouTube. Germany has some of the strongest auto worker unions in the world, they do well.

Well there is VW oops not good example. How about BMW oops not a car many can afford..

VW and Opel make affordable cars, VW had management who where willing to cheat, that is not the worker’s fault.

If you are implying the only way to get an affordable car is to screw the workers, I remind you Tesla cars cost about $100,000.

“Even more interesting is that the publication couldn’t find any specific information proving that a person named Jose Moran works for Tesla, and the Medium post fails to provide any specific information about Moran. Gizmodo reportedly checked social media and other sources, as well as LinkedIn. Shortly after the Gizmodo post, Moran seemed to suddenly have a LinkedIn page showing that he works for Tesla.”

I am just appalled by that fanboy writer who tried to discredit Mr. Moran in his Gizmodo article. After I tweeted him that Mr. Moran’s profile exists on linked with 67 connections, he updated the article, but still sticking to his claim that he couldn’t locate him earlier! The truth s, he did a half-ass job of searching or just drank the kool aid from Mr. Musk. This is a shameful and utterly misleading fanboy journalism. A real journalist will call tesla HR to validate.

People may not agree with Mr. Moran’s intent or action, but trying to discredit him this way is simply very low. Mr. Musk spreading BS about him is worse.

Getting “support” from a professional FUDster and perpetual Tesla stock shorter like “Dr ValueSeeker” is certainly not going to add to the credibility of the person… or more likely, the team… of UAW union agitprop vendors who hide behind the pseudonym of “Jose Moran”.

Let the guy start his own business, go through all the risks, take on all the responsibilities. Or else, leave Tesla if you don’t like it. Isn’t that simple?


Tesla doesn’t really can’t say that it’s employees are well paid in comparison to the rest of the auto industry in the U.S. Tesla wages versus union wages. When comparing wages, Tesla auto workers make between $17 and $21 per hour. Union auto workers make an avg. of $28, and nonunion workers (mostly in the South) make $26. So it looks like, in any case, Tesla workers need a raise. Also, I should note why so many automakers are moving production to Mexico: average auto worker pay there is less than $4 an hour. (No typo.)

Wonder if any connection exists between slave labor @4$/hr and drugs, criminal organizations?

Notice a UAW hack shows up to “comment” right away? “Doesn’t sound like a UAW plant to me – nope-unh uhh…nada…zip…zooie…I think you are stupid!”

This stuff is really sad.

Nationwide, auto plants from automakers A-Z reject the UAW’s advances because they’re taken care of- are happy with their benefits and don’t need a strongarm to then become beholden of.

Shame on the UAW for these nasty, underhanded tactics.

Unionize Fremont and the Gigafactory and Tesla will go under, plain and simple. As others have said – if you don’t like your job, just leave. Go to Detroit, that bastion of success and affluence – and work for the few remaining auto shops that exist there ( barely ).

UAW plant Moran, Morin Moss, Four Electrics and all the other Tesla bashers please do not let the door leave a permanent mark on your arse as you exit stage left!

If there are actual issues, I hope Tesla takes care of those issues, because it is the right thing to do.

But this shows all the hallmarks of a gorilla campaign for unionization, so I’m also not willing to simply blindly accept the accusations made. They curiously are an exact match for standard UAW talking points, and that video was produced, right down to all the footage that contains American flags everywhere.

Finally, when it comes to non-disclosure agreements, I don’t know anybody in Silicon Valley who does NOT have a non-disclosure agreement. I would be shocked if they didn’t have one.

They are never enforceable in any case where a law is broken. The employer would have “Unclean Hands” under the law, and would not have standing in court. They also cannot be used to silence employees in workman’s comp cases, because workman’s comp is just a type of insurance. And the employer is required to fully cooperate with workman’s comp investigation as a term of that insurance, including providing/allowing employees to speak with workman’s comp without retaliation.

IF there are actual legitimate issues that need to be worked out, I hope they get resolved.

I think your reaction is fair and well considered. Seconded.

Thank you, Nix, for giving us the straight dope. Sometimes it’s very hard to see past all the propaganda.

Union of ‘gorillas’, eh? Don’t mess with those apes!

Working for a company for four years before asking for a union does not sound like a UAW plant to me…

But… Tesla welcome to the real auto world where every realy big auto company in the world mostly has union labor…

For those who dont know all the blue collar auto workers in Japan and Korea are unionized…

If the higherups have an army of lawyers looking out for them why cant the little people have the same??

Strange how union shills suddenly pop up to support nonsense like this. Don’t be misled. As you said – this prepared statement is an inside job to turn Tesla into a union shop – raising the prices of Tesla products above what anyone but the rich could afford. As Musk said – just go to YouTube and watch the union members fight over what was no longer there for them when NUMMI Fremont became non-profitable for GM and Toyota. Thus putting all it’s workers jobless into the streets. This attempt is so obvious as to not fool anyone but the most gullible of us. Just ask non-union auto workers in Kentucky, Illinois and Texas plus many more states. They are happy with the communication and treatment they recieve from their employers. They also get tired of the nearly constant campaigns the UAW carries out to convert those shops to their labor union. Look what happened to the American auto industry when quality plummeted as worker’s wages rose. This is an attempt to start that whole process all over again. The UAW with all it’s organized crime history and the slavery of it’s union members – is well documented. Soon, the… Read more »

So because someone doesn’t say online who they work for he must be a UAW shill? Oh come on. I don’t say who I work for online for several reasons and I even work in tech and am not some wrench monkey…

I am not saying that all, or any of his claims are true but we know Tesla had issues with using companies who were equated with slave labor. It would surprise me though if they had unpaid OT with their direct employees. Anyone in CA knows that!

Still here is to hoping the plant doesn’t become part of the UAW mafia. No reason to make Teslas cost even more!!!

no, there is no “slave labor” at tesla, and attempting to draw such an equivalence is ridiculous. people who work at tesla are free to not work at tesla, but the reality is that people have to make a living, and quitting a job has implications for a person attempting to make a living. because of those consequences, it is important that employer’s not take advantage of workers. this is why unions are important, because through collective bargaining, employees are in a better position to “even the playing field” with employers, who generally enjoy asymmetrical advantages relative to an individual employee.

You and I aren’t talking about the same thing… i was referring to their contractors who hire foreigners and force them to work long hours for little pay.

sorry about that!

There is absolutely nothing in any of this information that accuses Tesla of using subs or suppliers who engage in that practice.

Do you have sources and evidence to support an accusation that Tesla has subs or suppliers who do this?

Thanks GreenReader. Those stories make it VERY clear that DJ’s weak attempt at claiming Tesla would violate labor laws, because they had sub-contractors who violated the laws is now clearly bogus.

First off, it wasn’t a sub contractor, it was a sub-sub contractor hired by the sub-contractor, so Tesla wasn’t a party at all to that.

Second off, Tesla did the right thing even after the judge ruled that Tesla had zero legal liability, and that Tesla had no way of knowing about it (their contract specified $55/hr wages would be paid, and they were told by their sub that $55/hr had been paid.) Tesla STILL took care of the sub-sub contracted worker, doing the right thing.

So to claim that this incident somehow would indicate that Tesla would itself violate the law is clearly a fabrication and a falsehood. Because not only were they found by a court to NOT have been involved, they still helped pay for the man’s injuries.

DJ — You have some ‘splainin’ to do if this is the case you wanted to use to defame Tesla.

“About 140 workers from Eastern Europe, mostly from Croatia and Slovenia, built a new paint shop at Tesla’s Fremont plant…”

One of them fell 3 stories and was severely injured. Saying you don’t know about the contract workers is an old excuse.

I understand there is more than one Jose Moran working for Tesla’s Fremont plant.

Go figure.

It doesn’t appear to me that Elon is going to handle this union uprising well.

A union could be both good and bad from my vantage point. There are VERY successful companies with unions, like Southwest Airlines, who genuinely support their employees.

And, of course, there are unions who do nothing but sabotage their employer, as UAW workers did in the same factory under General Motors.

The history of trying to defeat a union seems to follow two paths:

!) Cracking heads / misinformation / force / intimidation

2) Improving workers conditions so that they don’t feel compelled to form a union

Which path do you think Tesla will take?

You forgot:

3) Right-to-work laws are passed.

Effectively allowing individuals to compete with the collective.

“Right to work” destroys unions, “Healthy forests” allows logging, “Clear skies” increases pollution limits, “Patriot act” severely curtailed liberties.

So Orwellian.

And don’t forget… “make America great again” is total disaster.

América became great again on January 20 2017…white male in white house = America great again lol

Union is about cracking heads, misinformation, intimidation. Try crossing a union picket line and see what happens. Union is nothing more than thugs who violate private property using violence and not-so-unveiled thread of violence.

Imagine if your housekeeper decided to unionize and dictated who can come in your home, how long they can stay, what should be fed, how much to pay and to whom, etc., how would you feel? Only way they could do that is to threaten you with violence. All the pro-union people are those who don’t “do unto others as others have do unto you”.

If they don’t like the working conditions, LEAVE! No one’s forcing them to work there.

You sound like you are agreeing with my post up above. But please don’t generalize when you say, “unions”. As some have stated, some unions, in fact – MANY unions are fair, good and needed. Many industries would crumble without them as many industries put greed above it’s workforce. These unions are smaller and better suited to meet the needs of it’s members. It’s the large unions like the UAW and Teamsters – the National Education Association ( the nation’s largest union ) that leave swaths of failure and destruction in their paths. Look what happened to the American Auto Industry. Eventually, the unions had to settle for less or be completely out of business. The 2008 downturn is not so far in the past as for us to forget. The teacher’s union is arguing in my state to reduce school days to 4 days/week. Naturally, these unions state, as always – that this is “for the good of the children”. This is along with the 2 1/2 month break they get each year, mid-winter break, “Holiday Break ( Christmas vacation ) ” Spring Break and all the other breaks we parents struggle to keep up with on our calenders.… Read more »

I’d consider a vacation outside of California stat.

I would hope the fellow complaining would get a job somewhere else that’s what I would do if I didn’t like the pay, job or commute.
Tesla is still a small company battling it out with giants.
I think it was Toyota that left the location and I’m not sure how long it sat empty or how many jobs were lost.

I do have a problem with somebody applying for a job that is 1-2 hours from where they live, and then complaining about their employer because of their long commute.

As if it were the Company’s choice that the worker applied for a job 1-2 hours from home.

A lawyer wrote the letter. There is no way this one worker could write such a bombproof letter. It stinks of half a century of knowing the laws and the courts, not some guy who doesn’t even talk about what his job in the factory is.


Ijmijonjak stu catso Etc:

BIG OIL Probably has a Hand in this., to Kill Tesla Before it Grows..

Here’s your tinfoil hat. I think it might just fit perfectly.

Please, no more of this spewing hatred for big oil. Mr. Musk is now buddy-buddy with them. He also loves Rex Tillerson, the oil man, and needs a lot of that stuff for his SpaceX flights and his personal jets.

SpaceX isn’t just a bunch of personal flights for Elon Musk, it’s one of Mr. Musk’s two most important business enterprises. He’s every bit as much in control of SpaceX as he is in control of Tesla Inc… or even moreso.

Anyone criticizing the CEO of SpaceX for trying hard to work well with his #1 customer and principle financier — that is, whichever presidential administration is currently in power — is pretty clueless.

Tesla Motors may or may not be able to get along without support from the current presidential administration. But SpaceX certainly can’t.

I totally support unions, BUT only when unionization is needed. If and only if a company does not respond to the needs of it’s employees should a union be considered. If Tesla addresses employees concerns in good faith, without giving up the company to them, the talk of a union is really uncalled for and makes you wonder why the topic of unionization has risen. If employees are not being treated fairly and humanly by a company, then unionize. It looks a little too early to be making that call here.

So, somewhere during the last century, workers learned about this great thing called a class action lawsuit. Unions are terribly obsolete, they died off with the concept of pensions, which survives in the Public Sector and has starved several cities such as Detroit and Chicago.


That is not a sentence.

Might as well be a lake of shame.

i find the comments by elon musk to be highly suspect. first, whenever i see someone who places the blame for failure of a factory upon a union, that suggests to me someone who has an anti-union bias, not one who is “union neutral”. then there was the apparently unsubstantiated allegation that moran was a “union plant”. that doesn’t suggest a “union neutral” mentality either.

i haven’t read the tesla “confidentiality” agreement, but i hesitate to believe the gloss that musk places on it as just being about protecting confidential product information. given the way that tesla seems to like to word agreements, i suspect that the agreement has extremely broad language that could cover just about anything.

Here is what is described as “Tesla’s standard confidentiality agreement” from one of Tesla’s SEC filings: “You acknowledge and agree that: (i) in the course of your employment by the Company, it will be necessary for you to create, use, or have access to (A) technical, business, or customer information, materials, or data relating to the Company’s present or planned business that has not been released to the public with the Company’s authorization, including, but not limited to, confidential information, materials, or proprietary data belonging to the Company or relating to the Company’s affairs (collectively, “Confidential Information”) and (B) information and materials that concern the Company’s business that come into the Company’s possession by reason of employment with the Company (collectively, “Business Related Information”); (ii) all Confidential Information and Business Related Information are the property of the Company; (iii) the use, misappropriation, or disclosure of any Confidential Information or Business Related Information would constitute a breach of trust and could cause serious and irreparable injury to the Company; and (iv) it is essential to the protection of the Company’s goodwill and maintenance of the Company’s competitive position that all Confidential Information and Business Related Information be kept confidential and that… Read more »

The articles state that Tesla has introduced a new non-disclosure agreement. So the one you posted here may not represent what the person is complaining about.

Also note that none of this is necessary to protect themselves from the SEC. All they have to do is inform their employees not to release material business information. It is not necessarily to get the employees to sign anything. You tell the employees to keep this stuff secret and then if they don’t the SEC can prosecute them directly.

Tesla did this of their own choice because they wanted to be able to sue their own employees over breaches instead of letting the SEC take care of it. It makes sense in a way but it’s not legally a necessity.

unlucky said:

“The articles state that Tesla has introduced a new non-disclosure agreement.”

No, it doesn’t. Try reading it again, and use some critical thinking this time.

All the article says is that the screed supposedly written by “Jose Moran” insinuates that there is a new NDA from Tesla. Look at the exact wording: “Recently, every worker was required to sign a confidentiality policy…”

It doesn’t actually say this is a new and more restrictive NDA, now does it? It just insinuates that… which is absolutely the mark of dishonest propaganda.

the next time you post information to make a point, i suggest that you actually *read* it first so that you understand what you’re posting. the wording of the agreement that you have posted is so open-ended and broad that it can include anything. in other words, musk’s description of the agreement is misleading as to the actual scope of the agreement, or at least with respect to the agreement that you have posted.

if you literally follow the wording of this agreement, a description of working conditions at tesla to the public would be a violation of the agreement. this, of course, raises the question of legal enforceability, because guys can put all kinds of stuff in agreements, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can go into a court and have the agreement enforced.

You’ve obviously never had a real job, because this is what a confidentiality agreement looks like. There is nothing unusual about this, it conforms 100% with CA law, and looks just like any other agreement of this type.

No, it isn’t open ended. It is as defined by law. It contains “Terms of Art” with specific meaning as well established through decades of both legislation and case law.

Everybody else here who has had a real job, or has run their own company, and not just delivered newspapers like you all understand this.

I love unions but sometimes union leadership has caused companies to go bankrupt. I worked at Pullman Standard in Southside of Chicago in a think 1977. I worked on designing train cars and the manufacturing facility that built the train cars was in the plant across the street. The union leader said we were going to have a meeting to discuss pay and benefits. We then voted everyone I talked to said they didn’t want to strike.Less than a week later we were on strike and they said another plant down south voted to strike.The strike lasted about 2 months no one ever went back to work on the design or manufacturing.

“no comment” commented:

“…the apparently unsubstantiated allegation that moran was a ‘union plant’ ”

Presuming Nix was correct when he said “the accusations made… are an exact match for standard UAW talking points”, then it looks very much like a substantive allegation, at least to me. “Substantive” doesn’t equal substantiated, but neither is it appropriate to dismiss the apparent likelihood as a mere “unsubstantiated allegation”.

i’m not willing to accept nix’s opinions on moran’s comments because nix’s comments exhibit a fairly apparent anti-union bias, which i would suspect would influence his judgments on what constitutes “an exact match”. on the other hand, you’re a tesla fanboy, so you’re going to be a lot less critical on such matters than i am.

I am anti-UAW tactics, I am not anti-union.

UAW does not have a good history of being the best example of unions working correctly. If you want to talk about successful unions, I’m happy to have a discussion of Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund.

If you are not familiar with the UAW’s history and their tactics, I suggest reading up on them.

I notice in the letter it says us and we, unlike the video which uses mostly Tesla and they. The whole first half of the video doesn’t sound like someone who feels like part of the company. The guy probably isn’t used to being on film, so might just been nerves.

I hope it isn’t a UAW plot to take out Tesla, that would be really shameful.

Assuming this is real, Tesla needs to find a way to address the concerns of the employees before hiring tons more for 3 production. Terrible timing to have this happen.

“I hope it isn’t a UAW plot to take out Tesla, that would be really shameful.”

It’s interesting that UAW members make less money than Tesla employees of the same position. So the UAW comes in and the Tesla employees will make less and be forced to pay Union dues. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Where are you getting that? The article says “Most Tesla production workers earn between $17 and $21 hourly. The average auto worker in the nation earns $25.58 an hour”. Do you have different info?

Those wage numbers are CLAIMED by the people who wrote that letter, but they do not provide support for those claims.

We actually have no idea what typical wages + compensation are for employees at Tesla. And neither do those people who wrote that letter. Workers aren’t allowed to see their fellow worker’s salaries. There is no transparency in wages. Websites like PayScale that collect self-reported wages put hourly salaries at an average of $23/hr.

The only people who have those numbers, and actually know what wages + compensation is worth, are the executives in Tesla’s Human Resources dept. So unless it comes directly from Tesla’s HR, please understand that you must take statements like this with a grain of salt.

It’s PERFECT timing if you want money from all those new auto workers, just before Model 3 Production starts.

Perfect timing.

Should also add–

UAW Monthly Fees are now 2.5 hours in equiv. Wages for each employee. Multiply average Tesla Wages by number of employees per year, then tell me if you think UAW would be motivated to Salt Tesla.

Anon said:

“It’s PERFECT timing if you want money from all those new auto workers, just before Model 3 Production starts.”

Exactly. The timing is the exact opposite of “terrible”… from the point of view of union agitators.

Sounds like the usual union hogwash to me.

We admire you, Tesla workers! You are in fact changing the world. It’s probably true that the workers have some underappreciated concerns. My view is that medical reasons for time off due to work related injuries hurt the bottom line, so that Musk, who is not stupid, will eventually change the situation and reduce the problems without automating it all. A union can be avoided if Tesla really steps up to the problems in the way it so often has, and creates the best possible working conditions.

Unions are the worst scum of corporate America, the other side of greedy CEOs.

There was a time when workers had to unionize or die/suffer working in factories, coal mines but that’s many generations ago.

California now (without unions) already has laws that protect workers.
1) Employment at-will.
2) Forced breaks.
3) Vacation carry-over.

Nobody forces these bozos to work at Tesla. If it is as bad as they claim, then quit.

Every company, every project has busy periods. You don’t like that – go work for the state or bank.

Unions employ the dirtiest tactics.
1) Insider agents are common.
2) When they lose a vote, they are allowed to reject votes against them from being counted.
3) Go see for yourselves what they do to employers when they’re trying to unionize a workforce. Extremely disruptive.
4) Ridiculous benefit demands even when the company is suffering.
5) These bozos get Election Day off. Nobody else does. Vote, then go to work.

Trump can’t kill Tesla even if he or the GOPs wanted to, but the Union can.

Musk is not stupid, and he is smarter than anything any union might try to be. Tesla is going to be spectacular.

Ijmijonjak stu catso Etc:

They have Strong Unions in Cuba..

David vs Goliath’s
Tesla is battling it out on many fronts: state legislation against direct sales, marketing and propaganda promoting ICE vs EV, and not a possible push by UAW.
At least you know they are doing the right thing when all indicators are the big players are worried.

What’s the quotes for around employee, insideevs?

He does work there. He is employed by Tesla. Musk even says he works there.

Putting scare quotes there because you don’t like what the person has to say is unseemly. It’s essentially the same as Trump’s “so-called judge” quote.

unlucky said:

“He does work there. He is employed by Tesla. Musk even says he works there.”

From the quotes in this article, Elon Musk certainly didn’t say anything even remotely like that. n fact, reading between the lines of what this article says, it seems pretty clear that “Jose Moran” is a pseudonym for somebody who may or may not actually work at the Fremont plant; and if he is a real person, then — as Nix so eloquently details — he’s almost certainly a professional union agitator.

Are you displaying a lack of reading comprehension, Unlucky? Or is it merely your ongoing rather strong anti-Tesla bias that’s speaking here?


If “Jose Moran” is a real person, then he should stand up and be counted, and reveal his actual identity. And not hide behind a fake name and an apparently faked LinkedIn account.

I didn’t say he wasn’t a professional union agitator. It wouldn’t matter if he were an agitator. The question is whether he is a Tesla employee. Musk says that the person “doesn’t really work for us”. That’s saying he believes he works for them he just questions the person’s allegiances. Stand up and be counted? You’ve seen what Musk did to Broder, to Stewart Alsop. He’s a petty tyrant, if you work for him exposing your name would certainly cause you to be fired or driven out. In the end, you can disagree with a person and attack their message without trying to pretend they aren’t what they are. Doing otherwise makes you look like a child. If Musk wants to win this battle it’s really easy. Treat your employees right. Crying “shill” isn’t going to fix things, fixings things will. Ultimately Musk is complaining about this person putting their own concerns before those of Tesla. That’s what he’s saying by questioning whether the person “works for him” or not. The thing is this argument that it’s a bad thing to put yourself before your employer only makes any sense when you are the employer. If your employee thinks their… Read more »

unlucky said:

“It wouldn’t matter if he were an agitator. The question is whether he is a Tesla employee.”

I’d say precisely the opposite. If he’s a trained and/or paid union agitator, then there’s absolutely no reason to believe anything he says, whether or not he’s collecting a paycheck from Tesla. Propaganda is propaganda, and any relationship to the Truth is merely coincidental.

Contrariwise, if he’s actually a Tesla employee with no close connection to the UAW, then reasonable people concerned about conditions at Tesla’s Fremont assembly plant should listen to what he has to say.

Based only on what is posted here, there seem to be very good reasons to doubt the veracity of what is being claimed by an anonymous person (or more likely, team of union activists) hiding behind the apparently fictitious name of “Jose Moran”.

Exposing Broder’s blatant lies damaging Tesla does not make Musk a petty Tyrant.

You too would defend your company with the truth against such accusations.

Broder’s conduct is not just lying, but major breach of journalism professional conduct.

Stimpacker: Precisely what did Broder state that was substantially incorrect?

I found his test drive illuminating, and when added to TESLA’s real time Logging of the drive (which I used to formulate my own conclusions) – it was just about the only test drive available that had detailed operation of the car in cold weather – only a Minnisota women’s vacation during the winter time added any appreciable detail to my understanding regarding precisely how the car then performed.

Normally, I call the NYTimes the (TOILET) Paper of Record, their lying by Judith Miller every day lying us into war with Iraq, etc, but I found Broder’s report accurate as he saw it, and the most truthful information I’m likely to find in the NY Times.

I confirmed for myself everything he stated in the LOGS, and then the phone calls where he was advised also made ‘sense’ in retrospect after checking all the Logs, Tesla’s logs, not the NYT.

Even Broder’s own newspaper said he screwed up the test drive, and made a whole host of mistakes, and it was HIS error that caused the infamous photo of the Model S on the back of the tow-truck, not a fault of the car.

You still hold a decade-old grudge against Tesla because you owned a Roadster during what is now ancient history in Tesla’s past. We get it already. Give it up already.

What an idiot…. Musk thanked me for my purchase.

It not only was not addressed to you, but you didn’t answer my question either – of course THAT is your specialty. Now be a nice clown and go away and let Stim answer for himself.

Broder “claimed” that the Tesla assistant on the phone told him he should step on the brake to add range to his vehicle. Broder, a technical writer for the NY Times, then said he followed the advice…

Not quite Stan1..

The Tesla rep told Broder to ‘Speed up and Slow down to get more regeneration – (a common misconception that ‘More regen is better’), when in actuality you’ll go further with no regeneration at all.

If Moran isn’t working for Tesla it would have been easy for Musk to prove it, but he didn’t. Instead he claims things he can’t prove. Clever.

Actually, no. In CA, Tesla can’t just open up their employment records without employee written approval, any more that your local University can disclose student records without approval. It doesn’t work that way.

They can conform a person works for them. There’s no legal issue with that. Even in California.

How would they PROVE that somebody DOESN’T work for them, without opening up their entire employment record?

May be, this guy Pu-Pu who posts his nonsense here relentlessly is a Tesla implant, spamming every EV forum and message board. A paid shill of a big EV.



I rather suspect that if Tesla does have any paid Internet shills, they’d lose their jobs quickly indeed if they criticized Tesla as often as I do.

So remind us, “Dr ValueSeeker”, just when was the last time you posted something positive or even neutral about Tesla Motors or Tesla Inc. or its cars?

How about linking to just one post of yours which is positive or neutral about Tesla. What’s that you say? Not even one? Gosh, what a surprise… NOT!


OK, how about this one? “Tesla hype is real good.”. LOL.


I’m not sure why they allow this juvenile stuff on InsideEVs, but I guess your nickname should be Nurse Valve Sucker?

Dr. ValueSeeker

You’ve got to be kidding: Tesla certainly has minimum standards – they won’t sell a car to anyone who they’re certain can’t pay for it, and:

Hiring that Gasbag would be well below their minimum standards of someone to represent them. No one would want someone as a representative that is clueless a majority of the time, as indicated by his moronic comments here.

Wonder if Musk understands that this can be potentially really hazardous for the company. BMWs are not made by slave labor.

Just because you hear a story, doesn’t make it true.

This is very true in every industry, where management decides small details that never effects their daily work. I work in controls for Water Plants and we do every thing based on the specs given to us which are made by consultants and management. When we deliver our stuff the operators and workers are at times angry, and list valid concerns, however it’s shame that none of their concerns were addressed while the specifications were being written. Maybe all plants regardless of industry need German style worker councils so everybody is in the loop of what the other is doing.

You accuse liberal democrats of being “braindead” but have absolutely zero language skills. Nicely done.

I’m surprised that any shop in California which can be unionized, hasn’t already been.

Personally, I’m all in favor of small unions, because of the collective bargaining which helps level the playing field against large businesses.

Large unions, on the other hand, have often proven to be every bit as unconcerned about their own members, and even destructive to their jobs, as Big Business. The UAW wasn’t the only factor destroying Detroit auto making, but it certainly was a major contributor.

As far as the actual allegations here: I don’t see why any reasonable person should put any stock in anonymous complaints. If “Jose Moran” is a real person, then he should stand up and be counted. As it is, it looks very much like the list of complaints is just agitprop from a union agitator.

I also find the timing of this to be more than slightly suspicious. It comes just as anti-Tesla “short” FUD propaganda here at InsideEVs, and presumably elsewhere on the Internet, seems to be reaching a fever pitch.

Witness all the posts in this very discussion thread from anti-Tesla FUDsters and “concern trolls”!

exactly. Well said

First things first. IEV’s shouldn’t repeat rumors. Putting “employee” in quotes immediately slants the article.

It should be the first job of any high school newspaper reporter to ascertain if Mr. Moran is or is not a full-time employee, part-time employee, or precisely his status.

The UAW claims they are not paying him – I would take that to mean in any fashion whatsoever.

As far as the arrogant statements made here regarding the ‘intelligence’ of the letter – those people should be ashamed of themselves.

I was a proud union member for many years and could throw one or two sentences together myself. Of course, people (the idiots) STILL claim I make everything up, even though I’ve provided a video of my EV ownership, News interviews I’ve done for BUFFALO FIRST business magazine, and testimonials from fellow commenters.

If “Jose Moran”, production employee, wrote that letter, he is seriously under using his talents. That is one well written letter indeed.

I tweeted the Gizmodo writer to fix his article. He is still claiming, Mr. Moran’s profile didn’t exist before, even though it has 67 connections.
The Facebook page shows, he has been expressing discontent and trying to gather supoprt for 2-3 months.

As for the letter: He probably had help from UAW in writing that letter. He has admitted that he and many other workers have been contacted by UAW for a while. If the letter expresses what he wants to say, it doesn’t matter if someone helped him write it.

It certainly does matter if someone “helped” him add things which aren’t true regarding working conditions at Tesla’s Fremont plant; things which are boilerplate union agitprop.

It matters even more if a team of union activists wrote the letter, and he just signed his name to it.

Thanks Bill, you’re 100% correct. As someone who works in automotive assembly, I can tell you that several of us, in my area alone, are University educated.

I don’t know that Jose Moran is or isn’t a UAW plant, but to imply such based on his perceived intelligence, is insulting.

Yes, I was a union member and university educated. The fact that Mr. Moran is smarter than many here is no surprise.

Incidentally, I always wondered while owning a Roadster why (in the 2014-15 time period) why Tesla had so few Roadster Techs remaining – so I’d ask those that came to my house. I was told by all of them that they simply could not handle the 70-80 hours per week every week, and after they built up a small cash cushion they’d leave to work elsewhere for more tolerable hours and a bit more pay per hour, even if the total paycheck was smaller.

Unpaid overtime?

You have got to be kidding me. When I worked in Aerospace unpaid overtime was a fact of life. Don’t like it?

Apply elsewhere.

I do not want Tesla to go union. The costs of doing business in CA are high enough already.

IMO, Tesla could just pull up shop and move to the giga factory if Ca state rules and unions force a union shop.

It is in Tesla’s best interest to keep the unions out. IMO

people like you will criticize unions, but will be the first at the trough to take advantage of the benefits that unions get for workers, even those who are not members of unions. historically, the way union advocacy has worked, is that once the unions got benefits for their members, even people classified as “management” would get the same benefits. it should come as no surprise that as unions have weakened, employee salaries have failed to keep up in real dollar terms. furthermore, the weakening of the unions has corresponded to a decline in the middle class.

wages have stagnated for everyone since we moved off the gold standard. Fiat currency and the federal reserve system are to blame.

There are unpaid hours for salaried workers (legal and customary in nearly all businesses) and unpaid hours for hourly workers (illegal in CA and most states).

This accusation is vague about which type of worker the accusation is being made about.

If there is any unpaid hourly workers, obviously Tesla needs to fix this ASAP.

But like you, I’m guessing that the complaint is over salaried employees. The way they have worded all of their communication, it appears that they are actually intentionally playing into that confusion on purpose. So I would be very surprised if there were actual labor law violations where hourly workers were not being paid for hours worked.

“I do not want Tesla to go union.”

That will be up to the choice of 51% of Tesla’s workers.


Unions are allowed to reject opposing votes from being counted.

Unions are allowed to make ANY allegations they want and the company is not allowed.

Any worker that does not vote AUTOMATICALLY has his/her vote counted as YES.

Unions do NOT really represent 51% of the workers. If that were true, they do not have to stoop to such low tactics and demand such ridiculous rules.

I’m willing to pay more for my model 3 if it means tesla employees are treated fairly. If tesla employees need a union than form a union that has low overhead costs.

California laws today already ensure that employees are TREATED FAIRLY.

Union laws will prevent a buzzed worker from being fired because of something called SENIORITY.

Notice when during tough times the union compromised, it is always benefits for NEW workers that get cut, not for those with SENIORITY.

So unions are NOT about fair treatment.

I can’t believe that someone is bitching about $17 an hour and up. I make less than that and have managed to buy 2 Leafs, a Zero, and an imiev (used) for my parents. And i have a wife and a mortgage like everyone else. If he doesn’t want his $17 an hour job working for Tesla in sunny California, let me know where to apply and i’ll relocate. I was even one of the crazies that camped out overnight to reserve a Model 3. $17 an hour would make it alot easier for me to pay for it. Economy has been in the crapper since 2009, he should be happy to even have a job. And to work for Tesla no less. And id love some overtime. Some people are a lot happier with a lot less than you have.

Given the starting wage at In-n-Out (fast food) in Silicon valley is $15/hour I can see why he might complain.

the comments by “ken” are bogus. if he were really making less than $17/hour with a wife, he’s not able to own all the stuff that he claims unless his wife is making a lot of money. according to the claims by “ken” he is making at most 200% of federal poverty level. do you really think that a person could own all the stuff that he claims to own if he is only at twice the poverty level????

then there is the claim that the: “economy has been in the crapper *since* 2009”; and it is clear that the post is bogus.

Come on over and check me out whenever you want . I make $15.98 an hour. I’m 39 years old. I live in Deptford, NJ. Im on plugshare. I host an EV meetup locally every month. I have a mortgage on a modest house that cost us $165k. We both work normal jobs 40 hours a week. I also lots of other nice things in addition to the electric cars. Come by and see me anytime. Ill show you a paystub since you dont believe me. I make less than $40k a year and have managed to buy 2 Leafs and 2 Zero motorcycles so far. You dont need to be a millionaire to own a Tesla as ill own of them soon as well.

no comment — You failed to understand that the that statistics you spoke of are HOUSEHOLD statistics. Not singe wage earner statistics.

Perhaps you should keep your mouth shut about topics you don’t know.

Wages have to be commensurate with the cost of living in the region where the job exists. In Fremont, CA, I would expect the cost of living is quite a bit higher than it is here in the “flyover” states.

In fact, I remember when my cousin moved here to the Kansas City area from California, some years ago, and looked for a job as a computer analyst, she was initially told (and industry figures confirmed) that wages for the job she was seeking were almost precisely half what they were in the region she moved from. Happily, as it turned out, she was offered a starting salary not far below what she had been making.

Since so many auto assembly jobs are now in lower-income “right to work” States, it would not at all surprise me that even if Fremont assembly plant workers are paid more than the national average, it’s still lower than average when scaled to the cost of living in Fremont.

It’s going to be long drawn out fight. Stay strong Tesla employees. It’s incredible the amount of resources a company will use to stop the union.

I’m guessing, the new management is pushing these employees.

Looks like Jose Moran already has a union job.


I bet they picked the shirt out just for him.

“Do you know the way to San Jose?”

I can hear the song now-

Another (Euro) industrial point of view

Not a very attractive corporation DNA/culture as far as I can read in this article. I mean this is reality, not the hype we can read allover the place about Tesla. This could partially explain the reliability/body parts adjustment issues.

If this snowflake does not like working conditions at Tesla, simply get a different job. See how simple it is?

Another (Euro) industrial point of view

As you mention, it is not so much an employee problem that a company problem. The employee can always f..k off, the problem is the company. Those working conditions triggers a high employee turnover rate, thus hard to maintain top quality in those conditions. One need happy employees to deliver high quality products. I recently talked to a Swiss guy who bought a Model S about 6 months ago. He had to go back several times to the workshop to have this doors aligned. We are talking about Model S here, not model X. This may cost Tesla dearly once honey moon/fashion period is over. Specifically here in Europe with the German production bench marking.

Jose Moran,
Seems like you are not grateful you have a job. If you don’t like the working conditions where you currently work, find a new job. Let a starving unemployed person take your place.


Nelson – It is attitudes like yours that are the reason Trump was elected. The working man has long been pushed aside and taken for granted by Democrats. Unions bring a stable workforce that will grow a company. As Trump said, What do you have to lose? I personally wrote in for Sanders. The Clinton Democratic machine is bought and paid for by elitist corporations. I know many who voted to Trump because they had nothing to lose. Maybe it won’t work out. Bottom line is that wages at Tesla should be closer to $30/hr. with overtime starting after 8 hours a day.

You just made the argument why union is bunch of thugs.

$30/hr is about $60K/yr. Most non-engineers with master’s degree don’t make that much. If union strikes, those college degreed people who made less can cross the picket line and increase their pay. Heck, even many (most?) bachelor’s degreed engineers would increase their pay.

Why doesn’t it happen? Because union is nothing more than bunch of thugs who’ll threaten beat up / kill other people and their families who dare try to make their lives better.

Union is nothing more than organized crime. If a local gang did union actions against you, you’d call the cops about extortion. But when the target is someone else, oh, let them extort even more, those poor gang bangers deserve more loot.

Do you just hate unions off hand? What about the AMA, the Doctors union, The Chamber, the business union or the Bar Association, the lawyers union. How about SAG-AFTRA or THE NBA, NFL or MBA unions? Can you tell me who the two Presidents of the United States enjoyed a union pension? Regan and Trump…

Union are Bad. I guess a lot of you pro union guys are looking forward to a unionized Tesla that will either raise the price of their cars or go out of business. Most union organizers are just greedy sucking dues from the poor employees while padding their pockets. And I don’t speak for Steve but I do dislike Unions out of hand in case you didn’t notice.

The younger of us need to study how our country has weathered all kinds of affronts to our personal freedoms. All too often, folks who initially “come to our rescue” and act as our friend – are really in it for themselves. To gain power and wealth on our backs. We survived the mobs and gangs of the ’20s and ’30s. We survived the Great Depression and we survived many plagues and outbreaks. We saw presidents get on the wrong side of unions and die ( JFK ). We’ve seen all sorts of strongarm tactics when politicians get in bed with unions. Basically, it gets very very ugly. Many of us remember a certain union boss who disappeared and whom many believed was entombed in Giants Stadium! Just like the gangs who shot up our cities during Prohibition – the giant labor leaders with all their crime and influence have subsided in our modern times. That is not to say the threat of them creeping back into the scene stronger and stronger is not out there. They never cease their mantra of “sticking up for the little guy”, only to enslave them just the same. Workers demand higher wages to… Read more »
2008 GM sat with the UAW and negotiated compromises. These compromises included some entry-level, non union jobs at some plants to keep the lines moving. It also bent some union rules which were literally choking profits and causing many to be laid off. Again – I think labor unions are often needed and very much appreciated. I worked for a non-union restaurant and by all means my management was taking advantage of the hotel workers in that place. When I agreed to go to an offsite location and help organize the hotel’s workers to vote for the restaurant union – the hotel made up a story that I missed a scheduled work day and fired me! We who have been taken advantage of and/or forced to work in unfair/unsafe conditions or far too many hours – we know that representation is often needed. What is really truly sad is that organizations that initially were implemented to assist in employer/employee relations became giant money machines that gave tons of power to a very few who misused and abused that power. When unions get too large, they often have gone awry – wielding their power to gain control rather than carry out… Read more »

Perhaps Mr. Moran could show a copy of a pay stub from Tesla Motors with all personal information obscured. That should settle the matter of his employment there.