Tesla Responds to False Allegation it Fired Employees Behind Union Campaign

After an earlier report on Thursday that claimed Tesla had fired employees behind a union organizing effort, the electrical automaker has responded in an organization blog post.

Tesla detailed the “facts behind the event”, which essentially says the workers let go had poor performance reviews, that were determined well before the union campaign was announced.

“Tesla conducts performance review cycles every six months. Employees receive a performance rating from 1 to five in each cycle that helps them calibrate their work with the expectations of their job. Within the worst case, if an worker fails to satisfy their performance expectations they will likely be let go,” said the automaker.

The corporate said roughly 4% of the Buffalo team employees on the Autopilot labeling team were let go, resulting from poor performance reviews. These employees were notified of their performance but didn’t improve, leading to their termination, said Tesla.

“The impacted employees were identified on February 3, 2023, which was well before the union campaign was announced. We became aware of organizing activities roughly 10 days later. We learned in hindsight that one out of the 27 impacted employees officially identified as a part of the union campaign. This exercise pre-dated any union campaign,” said Tesla.

The corporate added the labeling team in Buffalo, Latest York, has been growing over the past few months at about 10 employees per week. Previously 6 months alone, worker numbers have increased 54% to 675 as of the start of this week, up from the previous 437.

As for allegations employees were being monitored and thus being forced to skip bathroom breaks? Tesla says, “the rationale there may be time monitoring for image labeling is to enhance the benefit of use of our labeling software. Since its purpose is to calculate how long it takes to label a picture, there may be nothing to be gained by delaying bathroom breaks. The claim that Tesla pressures employees to achieve this is categorically false.”

“Our employees in Buffalo are core to our mission of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy, helping to construct Superchargers, Solar Roof and power electronics for a lot of applications,” concluded Tesla.

Tesla rarely responds to false allegations because it has disbanded its public relations team, and most clarifications have come from the corporate’s Twitter account or from CEO Elon Musk. But this time these allegations have resulted in Tesla clarifying the matter in an organization blog post.

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