Tesla slapped with unfair labor practices complaint by NLRB

James Marshall
September 1, 2017

Tesla has been accused of intimidating and harassing union organizers, some of which have been working with the United Auto Workers to try and unionize Tesla's California vehicle factor workers. The NLRB has scheduled a hearing for November 14 before an administrative law judge in Oakland.

Tesla has been battling worker complaints about pay, safety, and rights violations, as well as combating an unionization effort, with CEO Elon Musk aggressively against the concept, even offering to work the same tasks as injured employees to prove, well, to prove something.

Tesla also was charged with numerous acts of intimidating and harassing workers and otherwise violating workers' rights under federal labor law, the union noted in a statement.

The National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint against Tesla over charges that the company engaged in coercion and interference over employees' union activities at its Fremont, California, plant.

The carmaker, however, has denied the allegations, calling them "baseless" and "entirely without merit".

A factory worker supporting the union said that the complaint filed against Tesla will be able to help the people realize that they have the right to speak up whenever they see something that is not right.

In a letter to Tesla dated April 18, the NLRB warned that because of the nature of the alleged unfair labor practices, an injunction against the company may be appropriate.

The workers said Tesla made them sign a document that they may face termination or criminal prosecution for speaking publicly, or to the media, about anything they observed at work or their working conditions, NLRB said. "We will obviously be responding as part of the NLRB process".

Tesla's now in the sights of the UAW, which is looking to unionize the company's Fremont plant employees.

"I knew the company couldn't legally prevent us from speaking out about issues at the plant, but the confidentiality policy confused a lot of my coworkers and made them fear that they didn't have certain rights", says David Gonzalez, a Tesla production associate.

A Tesla spokesman said the company would comply with the order, but criticized the United Automobile Workers complaint as a publicity ploy.

As reported by Buzzfeed, NLRB regional director Valerie Hardy-Mahoney said the agency had determined that Tesla "has been interfering with, restraining and coercing employees in the exercise of their rights".

Jonathan Galescu, a Tesla production associate, says, "For as long as I've been at Tesla, it's been clear to me that it's up to the workers to make sure that we're safe and treated fairly".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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