Tesla workers at the Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York, allege over 30 workers were fired on 14 February in response to the announcement of a union organising drive at the 1,000-worker facility. Workers are a little concerned at Tesla chief executive, Elon [look at me] Musk's insistance on them working for little cash, being expected to make productivity improvements only possible for Superman, his desire to monitor their computer keystrokes and to stop them going to the loo.
The Tesla chief executive, Elon [look at me] Musk, has fought union drives in the past, but now it looks like things will be getting a little tougher for him. The campaign, Tesla Workers United, is affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) affiliate Workers United and has filed an injunction with the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) seeking to halt the firings.
A now-fired Tesla employee and organizing committee member, Arian Berek, stated in a press release: “I feel blindsided, I got Covid and was out of the office, then I had to take a bereavement leave. I returned to work, was told I was exceeding expectations and then Wednesday came along. I strongly feel this is in retaliation to the committee announcement and it’s shameful.”
Sara Costantino, a current Tesla employee and organizing committee member, added: “We’re angry. This won’t slow us down. This won’t stop us. They want us to be scared, but I think they just started a stampede. We can do this. But I believe we will do this.”
Workers also cited the announcement of a new policy prohibiting employees from recording workplace meetings without all participants’ permission, which they say undermines federal labour law and the state of New York’s one-party consent law on recording conversations.
Tesla has not commented in response to the firings and disbanded its US media relations team in 2020 presumabily because it had a wonderful presence in the press.