In the face of what it describes as “a concerted and professional media push intended to raise questions about safety at Tesla,” the California electric automaker has attempted to counter an apparent unionization tactic.
In a May 14th blog post titled “Creating the Safest Car Factory in the World,” Tesla said it was contacted by numerous media sources claiming to have spoken with similar workers at its Fremont assembly plant. The automaker sees this as an attempt by both the United Auto Workers and Tesla employees intent on organizing the plant to use instances of workplace injury as an organizational tool.
This morning, the story Tesla was working to get ahead of landed in The Guardian.
The National Labor Relations Board has again accused Volkswagen of unfair labor practices, stating the automaker increased health insurance premiums and altered working hours of employees who voted for union representation at its Chattanooga, Tennessee factory.
The facility — VW’s only U.S. assembly plant — produces the Passat and new Atlas SUV. A small portion of skilled-trade employees voted in 2015 to be represented by the United Auto Workers, but VW is claiming they shouldn’t speak for the entire workforce.
However, the NLRB says the UAW’s collective-bargaining rights for the select workers who maintain the plant’s automated machinery can’t be superseded by the federal appeals court case.
“Wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment of the Unit … are mandatory subjects for the purposes of collective bargaining,” reads the complaint.
They do protests a little differently in France. A French supplier of brackets, bumper and steering column components to Renault and PSA Group might soon close down for good, so the shop’s unionized employees figured it would be best to turn its protest efforts up to “11.”
That apparently means destroying the equipment used to make those essential parts, as well as threatening lives by rigging the factory to explode.
So. Much. Passion.
A General Motors plant once described as being on life support might not be out of the woods yet, but there’s a new ray of light at Oshawa Assembly — Canada’s oldest auto factory.
The plant’s supply of models has dwindled in recent years, with only the Chevrolet Impala and aging Cadillac XTS sharing space with the soon-to-depart Buick Regal. For years, Oshawa’s Consolidated Line handled final assembly of Chevrolet Equinox overflow models from GM’s CAMI plant, but supply will dry up this summer as the next-generation model becomes a CAMI-only deal.
Enter a hazy GM promise to deliver pickups for final assembly. While GM hasn’t confirmed that Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra models are destined for Oshawa, at least one truck certainly is. The first truck shift hasn’t yet begun, and already the local union is alerting workers to a second.
It’s no secret that the success of Tesla’s forthcoming Model 3 will dictate its position as a mainstream automaker for the foreseeable future. Tesla’s current status as the most valuable carmaker in the United States is riding, almost entirely, on the problem-free assembly of its “affordable” EV this summer. So, when one of its German suppliers threatened to go on strike earlier this month, you can imagine the series of panic attacks CEO Elon Musk probably suffered.
Last week, the company’s recently acquired industrial robotics unit Grohmann began labor negotiations over insufficient wages and Tesla’s decision to suspend all contracts that didn’t pertain specifically to the Model 3. And, to ensure things went his way, Musk has become directly involved in the process.
Opel autoworkers and executives worried that a French takeover will see their pretzels and bratwurst replaced by baguettes and brie can rest easy, or so the automaker looking to buy their company claims.
France’s PSA Group, which could submit a bid to buy Opel and sister division Vauxhall this week, would give the German automaker the autonomy it desperately craves, the company’s CEO told labor reps and Germany’s chancellor.
That elongated “Z” won’t become a fleur-de-lis.
Before the end of the 1980s, disenchanted drivers were voting with their wallets in ever greater numbers. Family sedan buyers, burned by the quality control issues of the late 1970s, turned their attention to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, while German automakers increasingly carved off a larger slice of the premium segment pie.
In many cases, the buyers who turned their backs on domestic vehicles stayed in their new camp for years, buying another, and then another Japanese or German car. Luring them back remains a difficult task, as stigma often fades at a slower rate than quality improves.
“Buy American” campaigns are nothing new, but President Donald Trump’s ascent to the Oval Office has spurred a newfound focus on the health of the Detroit Three automakers. In a bid to bolster that health, the United Auto Workers union is on the verge of telling you to drive past all those import dealers.
Come home to America.
Workers at General Motors’ CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, are reeling after the automaker announced the loss of more than 600 jobs.
As expected, the autoworkers’ union is livid, having been told nothing about job losses during the changeover.
Maybe God has it out for Windsor, Ontario. Or maybe fate has a sense of irony, at least when it comes to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The automaker’s minivan plant, which builds the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Pacifica, handily sidestepped a supplier-related shutdown this week, only to be unexpectedly hit with another. The assembly lines go dark in Windsor next week.
Volkswagen’s expensive diesel emissions scandal has forced cost cutting on anything that isn’t electric and its rally team is next on the chopping block. Quitting while ahead is ideal but abandoning a program due to financial woes and public shame after a hot streak doesn’t exactly smack of going out on top.
That, Toyota invents a box that allows anyone to use your car, Tesla’s zero-emission credits may soon be worth less, and Ford makes peace with its Canadian autoworkers at the buzzer… after the break!
A weekend meeting with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne led to a final-hour tentative agreement between the automaker and the union representing Detroit Three autoworkers in Canada, Unifor president Jerry Dias claims.
The deal, announced five minutes before Monday’s 11:59 p.m. strike deadline, means 3,500 Brampton assembly plant workers face a less uncertain future than before.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles must make some pricey commitments to head off a midnight strike by its Canadian autoworkers.
Bargaining teams from FCA and Unifor, which represents Detroit Three autoworkers in Canada, worked throughout the weekend to nail down a contract deal patterned on the recent General Motors agreement.
Without product commitment for its Brampton assembly plant and Etobicoke casting plant, among other sticking points, workers could walk off the job tonight.
Canada, as the New York Times helpfully points out, actually celebrates Thanksgiving (!), but bargaining teams from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and autoworkers union Unifor won’t get to enjoy it.
The two groups are expected to bargain down to the last minute as contract talks approach Monday night’s strike deadline, the Windsor Star reports. Unlike recent bargaining between Unifor and General Motors, the FCA negotiations have been whisper quiet, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t action happening behind the scenes.
GM Canada autoworkers seemed pretty pleased with the contract deal their union reached with the company, but Ford needs to put something different on the table to satisfy its employees.
The president of a Unifor local representing Canadian Ford workers said his members would have voted down the GM deal, Reuters reports.
It looks like the prospect of getting a partial payback for its investment could have hastened the deal reached between General Motors Canada and its autoworkers’ union.
The automaker could have up to 40 percent of the money invested in its Canadian operations handed back by the Ontario and Canadian governments, according to a report in the Globe and Mail.
If the full amount is realized, it means a government cash injection of $56,410 per autoworker.
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