Federal Budget

Tesla raises pay for US factory workers amid union organising push

Tesla raises pay for US factory workers amid union organising push

Business

The United Auto Workers union has declared its intent to organise Tesla's factories

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(Web Desk) - Tesla has reportedly notified workers at its flagship factory in Fremont, Calif., that employees across the electric vehicle maker's factories will receive pay increases as the nonunion automaker looks to head off an organising push.

All US production associates, material handlers and quality inspectors will receive a "market adjustment pay increase," Bloomberg News reported, citing a flyer posted at the Fremont facility.
However, the document didn't specifically state how much the raises would add to workers' paychecks.

A representative for Tesla did not immediately return The Messenger's request for comment.

Tesla's latest pay bump comes after workers at the automaker's factory in Nevada said they were informed of "cost of living adjustments."

The adjustment would provide most of the hourly workers at the 11,000-person plant with a 10% or greater raise for most of the plant's hourly workers.

The wage hikes come as the United Auto Workers — fresh from winning record contracts with Ford Motor, General Motors and Stellantis — push to organize facilities operated by 13 nonunion automakers across the U.S.

Besides Tesla, six of those automakers — including Hyundai Motor America, Toyota Motor, American Honda Motor and Volkswagen Group — have also committed to raising workers' pay since those agreements were approved.

"Working class people are just tired of being left behind, they're tired of scraping to get by," UAW President Shawn Fain told The Messenger last month.

"I think it's just a reality point people have hit, and they're starting to realize now that organized labor and unions are the way to equalize that."

The union has tried organizing workers at several of those automakers' facilities in the past, but proposals were either rejected or failed to make it to a vote.

So far, the UAW has begun somewhat successful campaigns at Volkswagen's plant in Tennessee and Mercedes-Benz's facility in Alabama.

Tesla, led by controversial CEO Elon Musk, has been repeatedly accused of anti-union and retaliatory behavior in the past.

In 2017, the National Labor Relations Board found that the automaker illegally fired a union organizer in 2017 at Fremont.

"I disagree with the idea of unions ... I don't like anything that creates lords and peasants," Musk said in November.

In October, Musk told investors that higher pay for production workers would create "Game of Thrones" but for "pennies." Tesla employs around 140,000 globally; half of those workers are in the U.S., including 20,000 in Fremont.