Tesla workers in New York have recently launched a union campaign to turn the company’s Buffalo plant into its first unionised workplace. This is the latest in a string of efforts to unionize Tesla‘s workforce, which has so far been met with resistance from both Tesla and CEO Elon Musk.
The unionization campaign has been spearheaded by the group Tesla Workers United, comprised of employees who work at the Buffalo plant. The group is working in conjunction with Workers United Upstate New York, which previously helped form the first Starbucks union in the U.S.
Tesla Workers United is looking to advocate for better pay, job security, and working conditions, and is currently asking Tesla to sign the Fair Election Principles. This would declare that the company will not retaliate against workers for organizing, won’t impede or interfere with the election process, and will allow the union time to hold meetings and distribute information.
Tesla Workers United is further looking to organise the Buffalo plant’s manufacturing employees, helping them to benefit as well. The unionization campaign has been met with resistance from both Tesla and Musk, who have previously hindered workers’ efforts to unionise at its Fremont plant. The 2019 California ruling found that Tesla broke national labor laws and that Musk himself illegally engaged in unfair labor practices.
The unionisation campaign has been met with support from other labour groups in New York, who hope that unionizing at Tesla will set a precedent for other tech companies in the area. The group has also garnered attention from the local media and the public.
Tesla Workers United is hoping that unionizing will help to further the mission of sustainability, foster a progressive environment, and give workers a real voice in setting organization policies, staffing levels, and other rights and benefits. It remains to be seen if Tesla will agree to the union’s demands and sign the Fair Election Principles.
In any case, the Tesla Workers United’s campaign to unionize is one worth paying attention to, as it could set a precedent for other tech companies. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of unionizing and the power of collective bargaining. As the group has said, “Sustainability starts with us.”
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