A Unionized Tesla? UAW Considering a Push for Musk's Workers
The folks at United Auto Workers are eyeing Tesla’s production targets and making plans.
The electric automaker wants to manufacture 500,000 vehicles per year in 2018, and the union wants the workers behind those EVs in its fold, according to USA Today (via Left Lane News).
Though it hasn’t announced anything officially, UAW boss Dennis Williams recently expressed interest in unionizing Elon Musk’s California assembly plant employees.
“We’re watching that very closely,” UAW President Dennis Williams told USA Today, referring to the electric automaker’s lofty plans. “We just believe workers ought to have a voice in the workplace, and they ought to have collective bargaining rights.”
If production does hit half a million, that places Tesla in ninth place among automakers operating in the United States, ahead of Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The union already represents the big American automakers, but Tesla (and Musk) has so far avoided talking about the possibility.
Williams said he’s met with Musk before, but didn’t say when that occurred or whether they discussed unionization. He did call Musk a “very unique individual,” and said UAW isn’t approaching Tesla “in an adversarial way.”
Musk has bigger things on his mind than worrying about future collective bargaining battles and the potential for strikes. Tesla is ramping up to produce the $35,000 Model 3 sedan by late 2017 — a feat many say is unrealistic, given the logistics. Some 373,000 reservations are on the books for that model, with the Model S and Model X adding to the production tsunami.
The company plans to raise and spend about $2 billion this year to make sure enough capacity exists at its Fremont plant and its battery-producing Gigafactory.
According to one salary tracking site, employees at Tesla’s Fremont, California facility average $91,000 in gross income.
The company recently came under fire after a media investigation revealed that foreign workers hired by a subcontractor were paid $5 an hour and forced to work long hours in an unsafe manner.
Tesla said it would do right by all workers in the future, while Musk tweeted that the workers (mostly of Slovenian and Bosnian origin) were paid a full $55 an hour, putting the heat back onto the subcontractor.
[Image: Tesla Motors]
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
- AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.
- Leonard Ostrander Pet peeve: Drivers who swerve to the left to make a right turn and vice versa. They take up as much space as possible for as long as possible as though they're driving trailer trucks or school busses. It's a Kia people, not a Kenworth! Oh, and use your turn signals if you ever figure out where you're going.
- Master Baiter This is horrible. Delaying this ban will raise the Earth's temperature by 0.00000001°C in the year 2100.
- Alan Buy a Skoda Superb.