Tesla is facing a series of new charges from the National Labor Relations Board as pressure mounts to fill orders for its first mainstream vehicle, the Model 3.
The NLRB has charged electric car maker with violating worker rights for attempting to thwart an organizing campaign by the United Auto Workers.
Tesla was charged by the NLRB’s Regional office in Oakland, California, with acts of intimidating and harassing workers and otherwise violating workers’ rights under federal labor law, the union noted in a statement, according to the NLRB complaint.
The UAW also emphasized the NLRB has found merit to allegations by workers the company violated their rights by requiring them to sign an overly broad confidentiality agreement that could bar them from talking about their working conditions and safety issues at the facility.
Workers also have raised concerns about health and safety, compensation and their right to speak out. This is despite signing a document indicating they may face termination or criminal prosecution for speaking publicly, or to the media, about what they observed at work or their working conditions.
(Tesla workers suffer injuries “on regular basis” report says. For the story, Click Here.)
“I knew the company couldn’t legally prevent us from speaking out about issues at the plant, but the confidentiality policy confused a lot of my coworkers and made them fear that they didn’t have certain rights,” said David Gonzalez, a Tesla production associate.
“This NLRB Complaint will help people realize they have the right to speak up when they see something that isn’t right. I’m proud of my coworkers who filed these charges and stood up for us.”
“For as long as I’ve been at Tesla, it’s been clear to me that it’s up to the workers to make sure that we’re safe and treated fairly,” said Jonathan Galescu, another Tesla production associate.
“I joined others in filing the charges for myself, but I also did it for my coworkers – they need to know we have rights, and that we can speak up about what we are seeing and experiencing. I want to thank the NLRB for hearing us and the UAW for having our backs as we continue our fight to address the issues on the shop floor and form our union,” Galescu added.
(Tesla wrestling with worker demands, other issues at plant. Click Here for that story.)
In response, Tesla blasted the United Auto Workers.
“As we approach Labor Day weekend, there’s a certain irony in just how far the UAW has strayed from the original mission of the American labor movement, which once advocated so nobly for the rights of workers and is the reason we recognize this important holiday,” Tesla said in a blistering statement released after UAW representatives made the complaint public.
“The overwhelming loss at a Nissan plant in Mississippi earlier this month, corruption charges that were recently leveled against union leaders who misused UAW funds, and failure to gain traction with our employees, it’s no surprise the union is feeling pressured to continue its publicity campaign against Tesla,” the company noted in its statement.
Tesla added for seven years, the UAW has used every tool in its playbook: misleading and outright false communications, unsolicited and unwelcomed visits to the homes of our employees, attempts to discredit Tesla publicly in the media, and now another tactic that has been used in every union campaign since the beginning of time – baseless ULP filings that are meant only to generate headlines,” the statement said, adding the charges “are entirely without merit.”
(To see more about the UAW gearing up for organizing battle with Tesla, Click Here.)
With the new Tesla Model 3 rolling off the assembly line at the company’s manufacturing complex in Fremont, California. The launch of the Model 3 requires a steady increase in the tempo of production of at Fremont, Tesla founder Elon Musk has acknowledged.