Home Labor National Labor Relations Board Says Tesla Violated Labor Laws

National Labor Relations Board Says Tesla Violated Labor Laws

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In keeping with Elon Musk’s flawless track record of upstanding business practices, the National Labor Relations Board found this week that Tesla violated labor laws when it fired a union activist in 2018.

Shortly thereafter, in 2018, Musk wrote on Twitter: “Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union. Could do so tmrw if they wanted. But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing?”

The comments were viewed as “threatening” at the time. 

Cut to 2021. The National Labor Relations Board has now asked Musk to delete his Tweet (sound familiar?) and offer a job back to Richard Ortiz, the fired employee. The company also has to compensate Ortiz “for loss of earnings, benefits and adverse tax consequences that resulted from his firing,” CNBC reported Thursday.

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Tesla will also be revising its confidentiality agreement it makes employees sign. Previously, employees were told they were not allowed to speak with media, but national labor law  “protects employees when they speak with the media about working conditions, labor disputes, or other terms and conditions of employment,” the report says.

Tesla is also being ordered to post notices nationwide and hold a series of meetings to inform workers about their rights. We can’t wait for that. 

Ortiz was part of a group called “Fair Future at Tesla” that was advocating for unionization. 

UAW Vice President and Director of the UAW Organizing Department, Cindy Estrada, concluded: “While we celebrate the justice in today’s ruling, it nevertheless highlights the substantial flaws in US labor law.  Here is a company that clearly broke the law and yet it is three years down the road before these workers achieved a modicum of justice.”

We think FinTwit user @TeslaCharts said it best, however:

ESG in 2021:

Busts unions, threatens whistleblowers, defrauds customers, destroys forests, threatens water tables, sells vaporware, commits fraud, ignores warranties, commutes in a G650, fleeces governments, and refuses to recall deadly products.

For the planet. $TSLAQ https://t.co/QYt6OoFwFS

— TC, Master of Chart (@TESLAcharts) March 25, 2021