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Tesla Workers Contact UAW to Unionize Auto Plant

Tesla worker posts concerns regarding poor organization, worker injuries, labor shortage and pay

February 10, 2017

Bloomberg.com reports workers at the Tesla auto plant in Fremont, California have contacted the United Auto Workers for support.

According to letter written by Jose Moran posted Thursday on Medium.com, employees at the plant have been talking about unionizing in an attempt to rectify " injuries, poor morale, unfair promotions, high turnover, and other issues".

Tesla manufactures all of its vehicles from the plant in Fremont. The company delivered about 76,000 cars worldwide last year and aims to produce 500,000 annually by 2018.

In his Medium post, Moran cites excessive mandatory overtime and says poor ergonomics related to machinery within the factory are causing unnecessary injuries. Six of eight people on his work team were on medical leave at the same time a few months ago, he said." We need better organization in the plant, and I, along with many of my coworkers, believe we can achieve that by coming together and forming a union."

Speaking up to plant management has not provided a solution to the issues, Moran says and points to a recent confidentiality policy workers were required to sign requiring that wage and working conditions should be kept confidential. Five members of the California State Assembly raised concern with Tesla about the no-tell policy and contacted Tesla.

Tesla responded saying it wasn’t prohibiting discussion of wages or working conditions but rather the confidentiality policy related to “a rash of unauthorized leaks to the press and social media about product launches, specifications, and improvements -- information that is critical to Tesla’s continued growth and success.”

Tesla warned investors that union activity could risk raising costs. Bloomberg says the UAW has not responded yet to the post.

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