The United Auto Workers (UAW) has been leading efforts to unionize Tesla’s Fremont factory for the better part of two years.
Now we learn that the union has spent over $400,000 last year alone on its “Tesla Campaign”.
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In the past, UAW President Dennis Williams said that they were “respecting Tesla’s startup status” up until now, but they started seeking to get involved apparently since Tesla started increasing its production capacity with the Model 3 and growing its workforce at the Fremont factory with it – now with about 10,000 employees.
The UAW has since sent organizers at Tesla to spur the unionization effort.
Now a filing with the Labor Department reveals that the union spent “at least $422,000 in 2017 on items related to its Tesla campaign”, including “videos, t-shirts, ads and campaign fliers”, according to Fox Business.
They spent over $130,000 in hotels alone around the Tesla factory.
UAW previously confirmed sending a few organizers in Fremont, but it was also believed that they brought in outside union activists for demonstrations at the factory – pictured above.
The filing also confirms that the UAW spent $52,200 for renting space in Fremont, near the factory – confirming that they have a significant effort in place to try to unionize Tesla’s workforce.
With this said, the effort doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, which the UAW attributes to Tesla allegedly impeding attempts to promote the unionization effort at their factory. The union filed an official complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which Tesla called “baseless”.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has publicly pushed back against unionization efforts – saying that their interests “are not aligned with Tesla’s mission to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy” and he bets workers will choose Tesla’s stock options over union dues.
The automaker successfully avoided a German union push at its advanced automation group last year by employing a similar approach.