No, the UAW doesn’t want to invest into Tesla like Daimler, or, a few days ago, Toyota did. The UAW wants Tesla to go union, says Reuters. “Our union’s hope is that this venture will give first hiring preference to former NUMMI employees who are already trained and highly skilled,” UAW boss Gettelfinger said. Well, one can always hope.
The odds aren’t high. When partly union-owned GM backed out of NUMMI and left Toyota holding the bag, the union kept quiet. When Toyota closed NUMMI, the unions cried foul. In the end, Toyota had to spend $250m to pay off NUMMI workers. GM paid nothing. Talk about a union-backed, government-led witch hunt against Toyota as the main driver of the SUA debate has received wide traction. Just a few days ago, Marsha Blackburn (R – TN) complained about congressional “attempts to vilify a corporation” that has a non-union factory in her state. And now the UAW thinks all is forgotten, and they want back in?
If Gettelfinger hopes for union jobs at Tesla, then he needs a lot of patience. Tesla production at the former NUMMI plant won’t begin before 2012. Speaking of Tennessee, “the 2012 timeline is not without skeptics however, many believe that a year and a half is too short a time to re-condition the NUMMI auto plant,” says the Tennessean. The paper also disclosed that the $50m investment into Tesla will yield Toyota a tax abatement from the state of California, worth about $20 million dollars. That deal is getting better by the minute.
Speaking of union jobs, Chrysler will hire about 1,100 new workers for their Detroit plant that has been retooled for the new Grand Cherokee, says Reuters. The Grand Cherokee is the only new vehicle Chrysler will launch between now and the fourth quarter.
Partly union-owned Chrysler is getting a deal from the UAW. New workers will be hired starting at the $14-per-hour wage rates that partly union owned U.S. automakers negotiated in order to slash labor costs. What are the odds that Tesla would have to pay the full monte?