We’ve spoken a great deal about Elon Musk and his companies. From SpaceX to that drilling thing he keeps bragging about on Twitter and, of course, Tesla Motors. As a result, he’s a natural person to romanticize for modern writers as an ambitious but well meaning engineer. In many ways, he fills a social need for such an individual, and when one does, it’s easy to glamorize that person and overlook other flaws. At the same time, he earns lots of skepticism as one asks if he can succeed in an age of cynicism.
Then this kind of thing happens.
This past week an employee of Tesla named Jose Moran wrote an extensive piece at Medium.com detailing the situation at Tesla’s plant in Fremont California. After a brief introduction describing his pride at working at Tesla, he quickly broke into a long and impassioned plea asking the company to allow for their workers to become unionized, citing frequent mandatory overtime, injuries to employees and the fact that they are underpaid among other issues. “Most Tesla production workers earn between $17 and $21 hourly. The average auto worker in the nation makes $25.58 an hour and lives in a much less expensive region” as Moran puts it.
Naturally, with something as prolific as Tesla and Musk the article started trending, Both Musk and Tesla responded accordingly. Tesla’s official statement was that despite the assertions of Moran, Tesla would not compromise the safety of their employees and that they would continue to engage directly with them. Also, the statement asserted that “this is not the first time we have been the target of a professional union organizing effort such as this.” Which is and unusual addition for a typical company issued statement such as this.
Thankfully Twitter exists, and Elon Musk was much more forthcoming and in a series of DM’s with Gizmodo refuted Moran’s claims insisting that he was a member of The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America or UAW for short.
He went on to say that the man was hired by the UAW to incite workers to unionize. He went on to condemn the UAW as a whole claiming “The UAW killed NUMMI and abandoned the workers at our Fremont plant in 2010. “ The UAW in response has denied paying Moran for his actions and instead claimed that several Tesla employees had approached them according to Forbes.
Thus far, various news outlets, ourselves included, have tried to confirm Jose Moran as an employee of Tesla with limited to no success. Keep in mind; this isn’t the first labor issue Tesla’s faced as back in May of 2016 The Mercury News reported that workers hired by a subcontractor for Tesla were receiving $5 hourly wages to do sheet metal labor on the factory, less than a tenth of the average after one such employee was injured on site. At that time Musk asserted that he would see to the issue personally, again on Twitter.
@margotroosevelt Only heard about this today. Sounds like the wrong thing happened on many levels. Will investigate and make it right.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 16, 2016
The question that comes up is this, does Tesla need union presence? As it stands only 10.8% of American workers are unionized as of a report filed in 2017 which is down from 20% in 1983. For now, we’ll have to watch as the storm clouds gather around Tesla.
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Go to: hillclimbrace.onl/ says
The Model S has nimble handling and a comfortable ride, making it fun to drive. There is a ton of cargo room, and the seats are supportive and pleasant. Other high-end electric vehicles, however, offer more practical infotainment systems and a couple have better cabins.
Hill Climb Racing 2 says
A good automobile is the Tesla Model S. It is speedy and powerful, and the Plaid model is among the world’s fastest production vehicles. Few EVs even come close to this Tesla’s driving range, and fuel economy estimations are outstanding.
Sonia Kris says
This is fake news. A brilliant innovative leader whose inventions are helping mankind… the said worker was paid according to the real people and extortion. Every successful man needs to deal with jealous business rivals. Nobody believes in the media in anycase these days.
Eugene Ham says
Unions can rarely help the employee and certainly are not something that the company wants to be a part of. Not sure why employees would want to go that route.
Unions can unify the voices of the workers, so that the company need not chase problem reports; the union handles those. Just like VW publicized, years ago, the union is an interface between the company and the workers. You might see it as an unnecessary abstraction, but it is useful. Collective bargaining gives the workers more negotiating power, and ensures equality in pay.
James Williams says
Working just about anywhere can really suck. I am sure Musk will get to the bottom of this, but I am not sure why his brand would be held hostage during the process.
Leon Brown says
There always seems to be an angle to get the unions involved. Why is that?
Sabrina Knowles says
Every. Single. workplace has something like this happening. Why would people be holding the CEO or owner or founder responsible for the managers that are possibly making life a living hell for employees?
Holly Moore says
People are going to complain and if this guy was just hired to get a union riot going, shame on them. The employees should understand that being in a union does not mean the company cares about you more, or wants you to work less.
Sara Christian says
This should be very interesting to watch. Tesla has been in the news so much, but this is the first time that it was about the company and not just Musk.