Why would Tesla employees want to unionize?

Tesla employees demand higher wages

Some Tesla employees complain that they are underpaid. In a letter to independent members of the electric car manufacturer's board of directors, employees indicate that the basic wage at the Tesla plant in Fremont, California is $ 18. It is $ 7.58 lower than the average wage in the US auto industry. In Alameda County, where Fremont is located, workers spend 70 percent of their wages on rent, the letter said. Therefore, they want to talk to the management about the remuneration and career opportunities.

The authors of the letter, who are in the process of organizing themselves into a union, complain about a lack of transparency. "Many of us have been working with the vague promise of wage increases for years. We have no idea what to do to achieve this, nor do we know how Tesla defines success." They would not have received an answer to any questions on the subject.

Risky working conditions

In addition, the workers demand to see the company's plans for occupational safety. According to the letter, a Tesla employee sent the nonprofit WorkSafe a report on work-related accidents and illnesses originally intended for the US Federal Office for Occupational Safety and Health OSHA. The data showed that Tesla performed worse than sawmills and slaughterhouses. This slows down production and creates financial problems for the employees concerned. "We want to know how the company intends to deal with this and understand what progress it is making."

The allegations are not new. In February of this year, Jose Moran, one of 5000 Tesla employees at the Fremont plant, complained about pay and working conditions. At the time, he wrote that overtime, but also ergonomically unfavorable workplaces, increased the risk of accidents and illness. The workers would have to make too many unnecessary movements, which would be eliminated if the Tesla management responded to suggestions for improvement, said Moran.

According to the latest figures, Tesla more than doubled its sales in the past quarter to 2.8 billion US dollars. The loss increased from $ 293 million to $ 336 million, but was still significantly less than expected. (anw)

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