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Elon Musk says Tesla would not stop any union vote in California

Mar. 03, 2022 2:16 PM ETFord Motor Company (F), GM, TSLABy: Clark Schultz, SA News Editor117 Comments

Electronic Car Maker Telsa Reports Quarterly Earnings

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  • Tesla (TSLA -2.7%) CEO Elon Musk has invited the United Auto Workers union to hold an organizing vote at the company's factory in Fremont, California.
  • "Tesla will do nothing to stop them," tweeted Musk on the prospect of

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Comments (117)

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RickJensen profile picture
Opps, there goes those margins.
I dare he can in this environment! LOL
He’s looking for reasons to exit California and that would be a good one.
Hope that UAW will take the offer to hold an organizing vote at Tesla's factory.
It'd be interesting to see what the workers will vote.
Looks like workers in the factor had been abandoned by UAW in the pre- Tesla time.
I don’t get this. When the media lies, it lies in unison. Musk’s position on allowing his employees to vote is nothing new. He has been saying this for years. Why is the media projecting as if this is a U-turn on his position?
deercreekvols profile picture
@mkjayakumar -

Elon Musk was charged with violating the National Labor Law for his anti-Union tweets.

So, while he may have been saying one thing, he was acting in a very different way.

deercreekvols profile picture

He took to twitter last night and dared the UAW to take a vote at the Fremont plant.

Big difference between supporting your workers with Unionizing and daring them to vote!
machicolation profile picture
Unions protect workers from being used by greedy executives and are as American as apple pie.
@machicolation Technically true... but union management has become just as greedy and arguably corrupt in modern times.
machicolation profile picture
@martyr1777 Thanks to Citizens United, corporations (and unions) are "people" and can spend unlimited amounts on political donations to protect their free speech. This allows corporations and unions to bribe politicians which is why we have massive levels of corruption right in the open for everyone to see. It's not a secret. The amount of money by corporations in politics dwarfs union money so by my calculations unions are insignificant in the corruption of America compared to big business.
@machicolation You are correct, but I wasn't talking about politics as much as just taking care of union members like they are supped to.
dcxavier profile picture
What about Reno, Austin and Buffalo?

Of course Musk doesn't mind Fremont unionizing, he's going to close it as soon as Austin is up and running. Watch him try to get out of cleaning up the pollution he left behind, too.
@dcxavier ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! I worked at that plant for a Total of 40 years, GM , NUMMI and then Tesla, he HATES THE UNION, but said why have a union when we will give you stock shares ( scraps off his table ), But Now, the Stocks are so out of reach, and he’s NOT going to let a Union in there, you are RIGHT, when Texas ( right to work state ) comes on line, FREMONT IS DONE!
@warbanshee "I worked at that plant for a Total of 40 years, GM , NUMMI and then Tesla,..."

How many RSU shares did you get while working there for Tesla? Did you sell them? If you still own them, how much are they worth now?
Watch and Wait profile picture
TSLA is going to bail California completely, as I may do also if things do not start turning around here.
Investor since ‘73 profile picture
@ThePatientInvestor Tesla is expanding the Fremont, CA plant, not even considering closing it. Last year production capability was expanded by 50% from 400,000 vehicles to 600,000 (100,000 S/X, 500,000 3/Y) and further expansion is planned. It remains Tesla’s only plant that produces the high end S/X models and it is the most productive auto plant in the US.
90% of the inputs required to make a “Tesla” and power them come from oil and it’s derivatives, so the whole carbon craziness is the lefts unilateral wet dream, which I’m ignoring because at $100/bbl money is good. Drill…Drill…Drill
EV_supporter profile picture
The UAW will NOT take the offer to hold an organizing vote at Tesla's factory.

The workers will vote no, everyone know the outcome.

Let's do it, have a vote.
Investor since ‘73 profile picture
I love my Model S, spectacular in every way. Elon is brilliant, a visionary who is literally changing the world for the better. It’s good that he will allow a vote that the law requires to be allowed but there’s no chance he won’t threaten to cut benefits the employees already have coming, he’s already said he will end stock options. He’s also an ass, posting Tweets that served to manipulate the markets and causing real problems with the SEC (which he totally disrespects and may well yet bite him on his fanny), chiming in on everything from child rescuers in caves to insulting the President of the US. He’s a classic double edged sword, without him he stock would be worthless, because of him the stock may be worth less too.
superartus profile picture
@Investor since ‘73 he's a visionary like Steve jobs. Also, like Steve Jobs, it's their employee's incredible talent that got them where they are.
TommyIrish profile picture
Well, that is very bullish!

Whatever next?

Let’s face it the TSLA price can only go down from here.
@TommyIrish: So short it. That's been a fabulous strategy for the usual suspects over time. /s
TommyIrish profile picture

“So short it”

I TOTALLY agree!

Wait for it!

Feels a month early to me - but, hey, I you feel it…
Bill Cunningham profile picture

“So short it”

Down another 2% pre-market this am....
Marrk profile picture
Did somebody tell Elon that he could stop the labor movement?

Long GM
yanming_sv profile picture
Simply, TESLA just moves to other friendly states to avoid California, then, everyone will get what they wants.
Investor since ‘73 profile picture
@yanming_sv Tesla is expanding operations in CA, only moved HQ to Texass to avoid paying income tax here.
@Investor since ‘73: But that will change if the UAW is elected in CA and starts to mess up Tesla's ability to run the plant dynamically, as Musk and management wants.
Maxed Out Mama profile picture
Well, of course Tesla won't stop them from holding a vote. It's illegal to do so.

What would be interesting would be if UAW tried to unionize the Austin factory when it opens, which should be very shortly. I think a union campaign in Fremont is unlikely to succeed unless Austin has already gone UAW.
Bill Cunningham profile picture
@Maxed Out Mama

Texas is a "right- to- work" state, which makes union organizing harder there.
Maxed Out Mama profile picture
@Bill Cunningham Yes, and I think it is somewhat unlikely that they would go UAW. However, times are changing fast, and it is possible that the workers could go for it if the union could promise enough. If allegations made about Fremont are true, there are structural problems at Tesla that make a union a higher priority than it would be at many companies.

Also, the center of mass is shifting back towards workers. I still don't think a TX crowd would do it, but the probability is a lot higher than it was two years ago.
@Maxed Out Mama the people he has working there now, are EASILY FRIGHTENED, a lot of Asian that have large families back home they need to support, they NEVER fight back when they are clearly being abused by management, they know that if they say anything out of line or Pro Union, they will get the Axe, and there are people from the same area that would be glad to take that job, at even a lower wage.
J-Flo profile picture
Union strong = better benefits 💪
@J-Flo Such as?
@microsk96 I was in a union for part of my career. I would say in my job management did not F with the union. now non represented employees got F’ed without lubricant on multiple occasions
@J-Flo "Union strong = better benefits"

Free shares of stock is the biggest Tesla employee benefit and UAW contracts don't allow that.
Bill Cunningham profile picture
This is a clear indication to me that Musk plans to move the bulk of its California production somewhere else.
Maxed Out Mama profile picture
@Bill Cunningham If I were the UAW I would target the Austin plant. The Fremont workers would rightly fear that unionizing there would shift jobs to Austin otherwise.

You would think that production at Austin would be significantly cheaper than at Fremont.
Investor since ‘73 profile picture
@Bill Cunningham CA plant expanding , not being shut down. He moved the HQ to Texass simply to avoid paying income taxes to the state.
yanming_sv profile picture
@Maxed Out Mama UAW will get nothing if it push TESLA to a corner.
High Yield FIREVestor profile picture
Ballz of steel CEO. That's why us cultists love our CEO!
wsattler profile picture
Why is he offering Giga Berlin workers 20% lower wages and less benefits than the other german automakers? he needs 7000 workers there, only 2600 have been hired because germans don't want to work there
@wsattler Source? Two if my fellows from university used to work for Mercedes. The lack of chance to make career and hence get higher salaries made them move 350miles north and working for Tesla.

Btw. Cost of living in Berlin-Brandenburg way lower than in the south and far west, where other automotive is located.

When I worked automotive in the area, wages were a joke and I switched industries.

So I am keen to learn more.
@wsattler Tesla offers X amount. Worker doesn’t accept offer. What are you complaining about?
Slade_01 profile picture
@wsattler It is expensive to terminate employees in Germany for other than serious cause, so perhaps Tesla doesn't really want a full complement of German employees.
Musk smells free government money if he unionizes the shop.

When that runs out, he will just close Freemont and use the excuse of over capacity due to his other factories.
@cbx6cylinder Freemont is a quick & Dirty conversion of an old car factory. It has high labor costs and incurs high California taxes. It is inevitable Tesla will treat it as expendable at some point. It made sense as a startup, but all expansion has been in custom designed facilities geared toward Tesla design electric vehicles. Even Nevada facility was built from scratch to meet specific needs. Great cost reductions occurring in China, Austin and Berlin. Probably relegate Freemont to low volume premium products and overflow demand in long run until such time as it is shuttered for good.
@cbx6cylinder Actually, thats a very sound business plan, if the government is handing out candy, why would you turn it down?
@zver11 Excellent observation.

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