Tesla employees start the first-ever union drive

Elliott Musk

The attempt to organize a union by a group of Tesla employees in New York would be a first for Elon Musk's electric vehicle manufacturer.

In a letter to the company, they lay out their ideas and ask the executives to accept the guidelines for a "fair" union election.

Mr. Musk, who has previously opposed organizing initiatives at his company, has not commented on the effort publicly.

The Buffalo plant employs 2,000 people, according to the organizers.

Workers United, the union that assisted in sparking the recent uptick in unionization at Starbucks, is supporting the campaign.

According to a press release from the Buffalo employees, "We are organizing a union with Workers United Upstate New York that looks to be as innovative as the company we work for and to build even more collaborative environment that will strengthen the company.".

The organizing committee, according to the campaign, is made up of some of the roughly 800 analysts who work on Tesla's autopilot systems and are based in Buffalo.

They hope to work together with other employees at the facility, including call center agents and those who produce solar panels and batteries.

According to reports, the employees have been quietly working on the initiative for months and are currently gathering signatures in support of a union election.

They must show that at least 30% of employees support holding an election in order to hold one. Tesla will be forced to bargain with employees about pay and working conditions if they are successful.

In recent years, there has been an increase in labor organizing in the US, with major corporations like Apple, Starbucks, and Amazon among those facing campaigns.

But effective attempts are still uncommon.

Tesla has defeated other campaigns, despite labor officials criticizing its strategies.

The National Labor Relations Board upheld a prior decision in 2021 that Tesla had fired a worker in California illegally in retaliation for his efforts to form a union. Additionally, officials demanded that Mr. Musk remove a tweet in which he implied that giving up stock options would be required to join a union.

Last year, Mr. Musk claimed that a lack of employment opportunities close to the Tesla factory in California meant his business paid and treated its employees well.

He continued, "I'd like to hereby invite UAW to hold a union vote at their convenience.". Tesla won't take any action to stop them.

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