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Employees Say Tesla Is Doubling Down On Anti-Union Efforts

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Tesla employees are accusing the company of illegally suppressing their effort to unionize the electric automaker’s California facility.

The United Auto Workers filed charges earlier in April with the National Labor Relations Board claiming Tesla is attempting to scuttle efforts to unionize the Silicon Valley company, reports Buzzfeed.

“Tesla believes the ULP allegations are entirely without merit and will be responding as part of the NLRB process,” a Tesla spokesman told reporters.

Tesla said it is “aware of the filing of unfair labor practice allegations” but “believes the [unfair labor practice] allegations are entirely without merit.”

The accusations come on the heels of a concerted effort from employees who feel the Model 3 maker does not pay a fair wage and drives staff to the breaking point.

Tesla employee Jose Moran claimed in a Medium piece in February that the company’s California “machinery is often not ergonomically compatible with our bodies,” and requires “too much twisting and turning and extra physical movement to do jobs that could be simplified if workers’ input were welcomed.”

Nearly 60 community groups signed a letter on April 13 lambasting a confidentiality agreement employees believe prevents them from talking about unionization efforts.

“You can’t fix problems if you’re not allowed to talk about them,” Tesla employee Michael Sanchez said in an email to reporters. “The confidentiality agreement we were required to sign went too far. We should have the right to distribute information to our co-workers without intimidation.”

Tesla says the confidential agreement does not prevent employees from discussing organizing efforts.

Musk offered employees roller coaster rides at the California facility if the Model 3 is produced at full volume. The overture was an attempt to mend the strained ties between the company’s chairman and employees.

There will be “free frozen yogurt stands scattered around the factory” and a “Tesla electric pod car roller coaster” as soon as the company production on the Model 3 reaches “volume production,” Musk wrote last week in an email to employees.

“It’s going to get crazy good,” he said, assuring the beleaguered Tesla staff that everything will be fine once the inexpensive car reaches maximum production.

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