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Clean Technica

Tesla Ordered to Stop Union Busting

The car company was attempting to intimidate workers at their Freemont California plant

Brian Young's picture
Sep 30, 2019

A California judge has ruled that Tesla consistently violated labor law when they attempted to intimidate their employees into not joining a union.

The case, which was filed in April of 2017, alleged that the car company threatened workers who were planning to organize with the United Autoworkers (UAW). They said that workers were intimidated by security guards when they attempted to hand out flyers at the facility, including being escorted off the premise and having pictures taken of their work badges. The company then banned employees from handing out any materials that were not pre-approved by management. They also forced employees to adhere to a restrictive dress code after employees came to work with pro-union shirts on.

The judge also highlighted a tweet that was sent by Tesla founder Elon Musk on May 20, 2018. In the tweet, Musk said “Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union. Could do so tmrw if they wanted. But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing?“ The judge noted that this tweet could only be read by the employees to mean that if they supported a union they would be forced to give up their stock options.

Tesla will now be ordered to cease and desist from any anti-union activity. This includes getting rid of a rule against off duty employees handing out union literature. The judge also ordered the company to stop interrogating employees about union activity and ordered them to re-hire an employee who was fired for union activity. The company will be forced to pay back wages to the employee as well.

“My co-workers and I will continue to speak up and continue to work to make Tesla a better and safer company. Today’s action makes clear that we have rights, that we can keep talking about what we’re seeing and experiencing at Tesla,” said Jose Moran, a Tesla production associate.

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