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Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims employee pushing to unionize is a paid agitator, UAW denies


As we reported yesterday, there’s a new effort to unionize Tesla’s workforce amid the production expansion for Model 3. In the report, we highlighted the fact that Tesla described the effort, which at first glance is simply a plea from a single Tesla employee, as a “professional union organizing effort”.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk went a step further last night when he claimed that the employee in question has been planted by the United Auto Workers (UAW) – a claim that the union is now denying.

Musk made the claim in a message to Gizmodo last night:

“Our understanding is that this guy was paid by the UAW to join Tesla and agitate for a union. He doesn’t really work for us, he works for the UAW,” Musk wrote. He added in a separate response, “Frankly, I find this attack to be morally outrageous. Tesla is the last car company left in California, because costs are so high. The UAW killed NUMMI and abandoned the workers at our Fremont plant in 2010. They have no leg to stand on.”

Considering the employee in question has been working at Tesla for four years and this is the first evidence of “agitating for a union”, it would truly be a “long con”, if true.

The UAW responded to the claim via Reuters this morning:

“The worker, Jose Moran, “is not and has not been paid by the UAW,” the union said”

The union also confirmed that they were “approached” by Tesla workers in Fremont.

As we reported yesterday, the UAW has been sniffing around Tesla’s growing workforce at the Fremont factory for a while now. There were a few attempts over the years, but last year, UAW President Dennis Williams said that they were “respecting Tesla’s startup status” up until now but they would seek to unionize as the automaker’s production capacity increases.

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