UAW looking to unionize Tesla

The recent ramp of by Tesla to 500,000 vehicles by 2018 has brought up the idea of the UAW to unionize the Tesla Fremont factory.

Dennis Williams, the president of the United Auto Workers mentioned recently to a group of reporters that they are watching Tesla “very closely” after Tesla announced their accelerated plans.

Unions have a long and storied history in the Unites States emerging after the industrial revolution and finding a legitimate status in the 1930’s when FDR legally protected the union’s right to form and organize. Fighting a collective battle for better pay and benefits is a worthwhile effort especially if those workers are being exploited by the companies as has happened in the past. Today we live in a very different world. Better communication and transparency exist to know if workers are not happy or being mistreated. Any factory is just a YouTube video away from being exposed. In my recent visit to the Tesla factory it is obvious this is not a 19th century sweatshop. Workers are genuinely happy and excited to go to work; and why not with a variety of cafes, a child care center, and in factory gym it is a great place to work by any tech savvy startup standards. It takes a lot of funds to run a union and they get those funds via its members. The UAW’s annual 2013 budget was about $214 million with about $51 million in election donations and $13 million in general overhead. They employee 801 individuals and have seen their membership drop by almost 250,000 since 2002. It makes perfect sense they would like to unionize Tesla but do you think they are doing it to protect workers or increase their own numbers and lobbying efforts?


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Comments

When Toyota unloaded the NUMMI plant for Tesla stock (on which it made millions if not billions) this was the first thing I thought of. To answer your question at the end, the second choice.
We need the UAW, Tesla is A sweatshop!!