February 18, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Fremont, CA – Workers at the Tesla Motors electric-car factory in Fremont, California, have “approached” the United Auto Workers about organizing the plant, the union said Feb. 10.
The story broke after Tesla production worker Jose Moran wrote on the Medium blog site Feb. 9 that while he was “proud to be part of a team that is bringing green cars to the masses,” he often felt “like I am working for a company of the future under working conditions of the past.” Most of the more than 5,000 workers put in “excessive mandatory overtime,” he explained, “preventable injuries happen often” and workers are afraid to report them, and the $17-$21 an hour they typically earn is both below the national average for autoworkers and not enough to live on in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded by telling the tech site Gizmodo that “this guy was paid by the UAW to join Tesla and agitate for a union” and “doesn’t really work for us.” Moran, who is married with two children, wrote that he has worked at the plant for four years. “Mr. Moran is not and has not been paid by the UAW,” the union said in a statement. It urged Tesla to apologize “for spreading fake news about him,” and said the union is welcoming company workers “with open arms.” Read more