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Elon Musk Invites UAW to Hold Union Vote in CA Tesla Plant … Where Employees Already Enjoy Exceptional Pay and Benefits

Elon Musk Invites UAW to Hold Union Vote in CA Tesla Plant … Where Employees Already Enjoy Exceptional Pay and Benefits

“Musk said the real challenge was the negative unemployment in Bay Area, and not compensating people well would make them leave as they have many offers.”

Space entrepreneur and business magnate Elon Musk seems to be a man made for this moment in history. 

He certainly understands the need for domestic oil and gas production at this moment in history, despite losses to his own company.

Fresh off of making this noble declaration, helping the Ukrainians with their internet, and making plans to save the International Space Station after Russian threats, Musk challenged Biden and the stranglehold unions have on certain industries by inviting the United Auto Works to hold a vote in Tesla’s Freemont, CA, plant.

The announcement comes as the billionaire entrepreneur criticized the Biden administration and Democrats for a proposal to give union-made, U.S.-built electric vehicles an additional $4,500 tax incentive. Tesla and foreign automakers do not have unions at their U.S. factories. read more

Organizing a Tesla plant would be a major victory for the UAW, which has largely failed to win the backing of workers at foreign-owned automakers’ or EV startups’ assembly plants, many of which are in the U.S. South. Tesla also has a plant in Austin, Texas.

In his tweet on Thursday, Musk said the real challenge was the negative unemployment in Bay Area, and not compensating people well would make them leave as they have many offers.

“I’d like hereby to invite UAW to hold a union vote at their convenience. Tesla will do nothing to stop them,” he said.

Musk’s challenge comes during an interesting exchange with iconic rocker Gene Simmons.

Musk was responding to a series of tweets by KISS leader Gene Simmons, who was criticizing President Biden for not mentioning Tesla, a luxury electric carmaker, in his State of the Union address earlier this week. In it, Biden touted Ford and GM’s efforts at building electric vehicles. Both automakers are unionized.

Simmons said “The President doesn’t mention Tesla, perhaps because Tesla is non-union and moved to Texas, a ‘right to work’ state. Give Elon Musk/Tesla its due. They are game changers and should be heralded.”

Musk responded, saying Tesla hasn’t closed its Fremont, Calif., location and has plans of expanding. He went on to say later that Tesla factory workers’ compensation, which includes stock options, is the highest in the auto industry.

Legal Insurrection readers may recall Musk moved Tesla headquarters, weighing both the cost of living and a hostile political environment.

California’s loss continues to be that region’s gain, as Japan’s Panasonic is eyeing a new location to manufacture batteries for Tesla close to the Texas headquarters.

Japan’s Panasonic Corp (6752.T) is looking to purchase land in the United States for a mega-factory to make a new type of electric vehicle (EV) battery for Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), public broadcaster NHK reported on Friday.

Panasonic is looking at building the factory, to cost several billion dollars, in either Oklahoma or Kansas close to Texas, where Tesla is preparing a new EV plant, NHK reported. NHK gave no timeline for Panasonic’s U.S. project.

Even though I am technically a Californian, I do find it gratifying that the states with more rational leadership continue to reap the benefits of California’s hostility to manufacturing and capitalism.


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Musk is also facing the same kind of government pressure over subsidies in Germany. It’s confusing to follow the many twists and turns but it boils down to Musk telling the German government to just cut out subsidies for everyone.

Once you take the subsidies, the government has its hooks in your business. But government are determined to direct the business to their political cronies and in Germany, as here, it’s the unions. Tesla has made a wreck of Germany’s diesel business and at the scale Tesla make affordable EVs, they are poised to dominate that industry globally. Tesla makes affordable care.

So now, the European EV makers are going to focus on the high-end market. But Tesla is a much better car for the money and apparently outperforms most of them. That is how governments destroy everything they touch. It’s all about corruption.

Cool tech. Profits through subsidy, labor and, ironically, environmental arbitrage.

That said, Xi and the Chinese communists will be sanctioned next, never.

“Tesla makes affordable CARS.”

Base Prices: Model 3 $45,000, Model Y $59,000, Model S $95,000 and Model X $105,ooo
Nissan Leaf $24,400

    CommoChief in reply to SHV. | March 5, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    A loaded new Ford F 150 is in the high $70k and a new Ford Explorer is upwards of $50K. A loaded Cadillac CT 4 or CT 5 is $50 K.

    chrisboltssr in reply to SHV. | March 6, 2022 at 8:51 am

    Why this comment got a down vote is beyond me. Tesla us without a doubt a luxury vehicle. As you’ve indicated its cheapest model is in the same price range as most midrange SUVs. Low income folks aren’t driving those kinds of cars.

henrybowman | March 5, 2022 at 9:14 pm

At least he said “Message received,” and not “Your terms are acceptable.”

Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly…

It’s okay: Putin will is in the process of straightening our minds: all those soy boys, gender fluid girls and young people in general will soon have to decide on being overrun by foreign enemies of getting their acts together.

We’ll see if they choose the latter.

Unions are poison. They had a purpose back in the extreme corporate exploitation eras, but now they’re just relics of the past that only exist by leeching off productive workers.

I work in a union plant, and they spend 90% of their time fighting to keep the absolute bottom 10% of employees from getting fired, and giving not a single crap about the people actually keeping the plant running. Further, because compensation is LOCKED, and everybody gets the same regardless of performance, it makes it impossible to keep the top employees because you can’t pay them more, so they take their talents elsewhere. EVERYTHING is based on seniority, rather than actual ability, and it breeds a cesspool of mediocrity because there is absolutely zero incentive to perform above the acceptable level.

    Olinser in reply to Olinser. | March 6, 2022 at 1:34 am

    EDIT – damn lack of edit button 🙁

    Forgot to add.

    The ONLY way most unions survive is by mandating membership in their contract with the company. We literally CANNOT hire non-union workers, and there is no way for somebody to leave the union and keep their job.

    If the only way you can exist is by forcing people to be part of you, then you should not exist.

      AnAdultInDiapers in reply to Olinser. | March 6, 2022 at 5:33 am

      Quite how that’s legal is beyond me.

      However, Musk can easily get those juicy Government tax incentives: Just set up his own one-man union and officially recognise it within Tesla.

        scooterjay in reply to AnAdultInDiapers. | March 6, 2022 at 6:22 am

        South Carolina is a “Right To Work” state. Unions can petition and assemble but cannot force membership. It is why Volvo, BMW and Mercedes have manufacturing facilities here.

    iconotastic in reply to Olinser. | March 6, 2022 at 11:51 am

    Just like teacher’s unions—a cesspool of mediocrity that purchases political protection with public funds.

    OwenKellogg-Engineer in reply to Olinser. | March 6, 2022 at 1:28 pm

    100% agreed. My uncle was a UMW miner, and had a health plan that was phenomenal: $5 copay for any medical event, no matter the issue. THAT’S what a union should be about, not a political action committee siphoning money off the working class for self fulfillment purposes. My dad was a 50+ year member of the UOE (Union of Operating Engineers). If the unions focused their attentions on their members overall well being as their primary reason for existence, who knows what benefits would be reaped.

Paul Compton | March 6, 2022 at 2:07 am

Damn straight Olinser! Here is an extra thumbs up for you, since there isn’t any other way to give it!

angrywebmaster | March 6, 2022 at 5:45 am

He must have already checked to see what his employees think about unions. Most of the new non-union plants, when the UAW comes and pounds on their door, simply point to Detroit and ask if they want that to happen here.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to angrywebmaster. | March 6, 2022 at 6:20 am

    Volkswagen actually wanted its Chattanooga personnel to form a union. The workers resisted it, but Volkswagen, wanted their people to be union, threatened with whole new models from the plant.

      The Gentle Grizzly in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | March 6, 2022 at 6:21 am

      To go on, the the UAW was already circulating like a pack of wolves. I believe the workers did form up a union. The UAW has nothing to do with it, but there is a union. Needless to say the UAW howled like mashed cats.

        CommoChief in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | March 6, 2022 at 9:43 am

        German unions are different from US unions. They operate more like guilds and actually provide value to their members in training and well as working cooperatively with management to produce and sell more products. In contrast to US unions which have become vehicles for rent seeking, corruption and graft and offer little if any value to the majority of the workers. VW management didn’t fully appreciate the differences until they started dealing with UAW and experienced the difference first hand.

For more perspective on how Musk has been able to bring mind-boggling technology within the grasp of ordinary people, here is an example of the Koenigsegg Quark. a new tech car being developed by Porsch:

These are hybrid cars powered by insanely super-powerful electric motors weighing less than your head. They plan to make a mere 300 because only “special” people will be able to afford one. Or two.

My guess is that the engines themselves are destined for commercial applications like shipping and maybe even aviation. They don’t mention defense. Who needs a car than can go 250 mph? It’s a fantastic toy for people who can afford expensive toys.

In contrast, Musk has a $5,000 car in the works and $35,ooo is considered an inexpensive car today and Tesla has those too. No subsidies. No unions. Employees are well-paid and have excellent benefits. And they are getting better and cheaper at the same time.

And our central government is determined to derail everything Musk does including Spacex. At least Spacex has a devout supporter in NASA head Bill Nelson. Their Starship with the Super Heavy launcher is a game changer that will, if allowed, revolutionize space exploration beyond more than manned space flights. More bang for the buck. Estimated $2M per launch vs current $1B per launch for the SLS.

And it’s our government, acting for the benefit of archaic labor unions, that is blocking Spacex’s path, Their Texas launch facility is on delay as the EPA “reconsiders” the environmental impact. Another snail darter farce.

Someone needs to do a story about how our government is systematically deconstructing our economy. Everywhere you look, free enterprise and innovation is being destroyed (unless it involves tightening our current surveillance-based society for the benefit of a small cabal of tyrants). This is no accident, it is by design.

The pro-union folks always assume that introducing a union will raise wages. Not true; it only requires negotiations. Workers can definitely lose out on some benefits such as stock options.

    Olinser in reply to Obie1. | March 6, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    A lot of the times it does ‘raise wages’, but the increase is offset by the dues demanded by the union, so the worker still takes home the same pay (or even LESS).

The two groups who should never run a business are union leaders and bureaucrats, and I am not sure which would be worse at the task. I would have listed educators, but in that group there are rare exceptions who become true inovators.

Musk just bought Mercedes Benz late yesterday:

I can’t wait to see what his plans are and how the German government will react.

Apply a few of Musk’s Boring company flame throwers to the “snail darters” du jour, and problem solved.

Just do it when nobody is looking….

if tesla votes to unionize, i would love for musk to close the kalifornia plant, and open a new one elsewhere