Why did the workers at the Tesla gigafactory just walk off the job?
Union and non-union workers including carpenters, plumbers and electricians walked off the Tesla Gigafactory job site in Nevada yesterday to protest unfair pay and the hiring of out-of-state non-union workers. News reports about how many left the jobsite in protest vary from about 100 workers to nearly 400. Todd Koch, the president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada, said in a statement, “We’re considering our options. But I can say, this is just the opening salvo, and we’re not going to give up. Tesla hasn’t heard the last from us.”
Tesla is building a large battery manufacturing plant outside Sparks, Nevada with support from its present supplier, Panasonic. Tesla chose the Nevada site in part because the state of Nevada offered up an incentive package of about $1.4 billion in tax and land incentives to Tesla. In return Tesla agreed to build the factory with workers mainly from Nevada.
Tesla feels that is has complied with the agreement and released a statement that said in part “The union is also claiming that this contractor is somehow favoring out of state workers. In reality, more than 50% of the workers used by this contractor and more than 75% of the entire Gigafactory workforce are Nevada residents, demonstrating the project’s strong commitment to Nevada.” When ground broke the original timeline for battery production from the plant was 2016.
Still image courtesy of Youtube. See video for full credit source.