Tesla Inc. has begun firing employees, following performance reviews, at is non-automotive SolarCity subsidiary as it prepares to release its third-quarter financial results at time when the company is under some intense scrutiny.
Meanwhile, United Auto Workers filed a new round of complaints with the National Labor Relations Board in Oakland, California, in response to the dismissal of employees, including a number of union supporters, from Tesla’s assembly plant in Fremont, California.
The UAW charges the company intimidated and harassed employees, terminated a group of employees to discourage protected pro-union activity and disciplined employees for wearing items with the UAW logo.
In addition, Tesla “terminated or disciplined” employees in retaliation for participating in protected concerted activities, and more, the union said.
(Tesla firings spark protests at company’s Fremont, California, plant. For the story, Click Here.)
Tesla, which recently fired hundreds of employees from its motor division for what were described as “performance issues,” has not confirmed how many employees were terminated several pro-union employees were fired from jobs at the company’s factory in Fremont. Despite positive performance reviews from supervisors.
Richard Ortiz, one of the workers who was fired by Tesla, said has been an active union advocate for months, and has been quoted in the press multiple times.
Earlier this year Ortiz filed charges against the Tesla regarding their unlawful confidentiality agreement, which prohibits employees from discussing what goes on inside the company’s factory.
Ortiz was fired last week because he violated Tesla’s confidentiality policy.
“I was fired for trying to better the lives of my co-workers,” said Ortiz. “I always felt this was a worthy fight. I knew it wouldn’t make me popular with management, and I knew there was risk – but people are getting hurt. People are being paid less than they’re worth. And people are being treated unfairly.
“I’ve worked in auto manufacturing my whole life,” Ortiz said. “I do not believe – not for a second – that I was fired for cause,” he added in a statement provided by the union.
(Click Here for more about Tesla firing “hundreds” of employees.)
Tesla indicated that it would fight the charges filed by the UAW.
“At Tesla, we strive to be a fair and just company, the only kind worth being. Performance reviews result in promotions and occasionally in employee departures,” a Tesla spokesperson said after the UAW charged that company had targeted union supporters when the company dismissed hundreds of employees earlier this month.
“No one at Tesla has ever or will ever have any action taken against them based on their feelings on unionization. It’s worth remembering that each year,” the spokesperson said, noting that roughly 20,000 ULPs are filed with the NLRB by unions like the UAW as an organizing tactic.
However, Tesla also has begun dismissing employees from it SolarCity operation, which installs solar panels for residential customers, according to several accounts in the tech press.
The layoffs at the SolarCity subsidiary come as Tesla founder Elon Musk faces a potential challenge in convincing investors that the company will be able to make good on its promise to start filling the thousands of orders for the long-awaited Tesla Model 3 in the next few months.
(To see why Tesla raised an additional $500M in cash, Click Here.)
Musk has admitted earlier this month that the launch of the Model 3 has been delayed by what he described as “bottlenecks.”