Tesla fires employees attempting to unionize in Latest York, organizing group says

Several employees at a Tesla factory in Buffalo, Latest York, have been fired after launching union organizing efforts two days ago, in line with Tesla Staff United.

The group said in a press release on Thursday that employees received an email around 7 p.m. EST on Wednesday updating them on a brand new policy that prohibits them from recording workplace meetings without all participants’ permission. TWU said that the policy violates federal labor law and flouts Latest York’s one-party consent law to record conversations.

“I feel blindsided, I got COVID and was out of the office, then I needed to take a bereavement leave. I returned to work, was told I used to be exceeding expectations after which Wednesday got here along,” organizing committee member Arian Berek, who’s one in every of the roughly 30 fired employees, said in a press release. “I strongly feel that is in retaliation to the committee announcement, and it’s shameful.”

The Tesla plant, which makes solar panels and other renewable energy technology, will not be removed from a Starbucks location where employees voted to unionize last yr.

TWU said that the firings were unacceptable and that the expectations placed on Tesla employees are “unfair, unattainable, ambiguous and ever changing.”

“We’re indignant. This won’t slow us down. This won’t stop us,” Sara Costantino, a current Tesla worker and organizing committee member, said in a press release. “They need us to be scared, but I feel they only began a stampede. We will do that. But I imagine we are going to do that.”

The Rochester Regional Joint Board of Staff United has filed a grievance against Tesla with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing the electrical vehicle maker of unfair labor practices.

Within the grievance, the group lists the names of several employees who were a part of the factory’s Autopilot department that were fired. The group says that it believes Tesla “terminated these individuals in retaliation for union activity and to discourage union activity” — which can be illegal. It’s asking the NLRB for injunctive relief “to stop irreparable destruction of worker rights resulting from Tesla’s illegal conduct.”

As a part of union organizing efforts, the Tesla Staff United organizing committee said in a letter to management Tuesday that employees are searching for a voice on the job on the plant in Buffalo and wish to “construct an excellent more collaborative environment that may strengthen the corporate.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken a tough line against organized labor, despite an invitation to the United Auto Staff union to carry an organizing vote at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California. In 2021 Tesla was ordered by the National Labor Relations Board to make Musk delete a 2018 tweet wherein it said that he unlawfully threatened employees with lack of stock options in the event that they selected to be represented by the UAW.

An email was sent to Tesla searching for comment, nevertheless it has been widely reported that Tesla has disbanded its media relations team. The e-mail sent to Tesla bounced back as undeliverable.

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