Elon Musk challenges the UAW to unite Tesla

On March 3, Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted a series of provocative tweets challenging the United Auto Workers (UAW) union to unite the Tesla plant in Fremont, California. Musk’s comments came after President Biden shrugged off Tesla during his March 1 State of the Union address while praising General Motors and Ford for their investments in electric vehicles and creating thousands of American-made jobs.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Image: Wikipedia)

Detroit automakers have a long history of working with the UAW, while Tesla resists unions. In his faltering proposal to “Build Back Better,” President Biden included a $4,500 tax credit for electric vehicles built with components produced in the United States and assembled by union workers. Musk publicly denounced Biden’s union demand.

Musk, one of the world’s richest people, began his tweet on March 3 with the silly suggestion that Tesla workers were happy with their wages and conditions. “Our real challenge is that [la] The Bay Area has negative unemployment, so if we don’t treat and compensate the (cool) people well, they’ll have plenty of other offers and they’ll leave! I hereby invite the UAW to hold a union vote at their convenience. Tesla will do nothing to stop them.”

To add to the excitement of UAW, Musk shared a 2010 video clip from the UAW YouTube channel. World Socialist Web Site workers from Automobile manufacturer NUMMI denounces the UAW for their betrayal. L’usine de New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) – une joint-venture entre General Motors et Toyota – a fermé ses portes en 2010 sans la moindre opposition de l’UAW, laissant 4700 travailleurs sans rien de plus que de maigres indemnités from the start. Tesla bought the plant later that year and, with funding and help from Toyota, turned it into the fledgling company’s first electric vehicle factory. The Fremont plant now employs 10,000 workers an hour.

The WSWS video was captured during a UAW Local 2240 meeting to discuss plant shutdown and termination packages. When ordinary auto workers, who had been kept informed of the union management negotiations, insisted on their right to speak, Arab Workers Union officials insulted them and called the police.

In other words, the workers’ anger was directed at the Auto Workers union for betraying them to lead the company. It was the culmination of decades of a “labor management partnership” on display at the NUMMI plant, which included abolishing seniority rights, job classifications and other measures to protect working conditions on behalf of “ending hostile relations” and increasing productivity and profits.

Musk attempts to capitalize on workers’ hostility to pro-business unions to promote his own libertarian right-wing business model, which relies on paternity and the fierce hostility of workers organizing to oppose capitalist exploitation. Musk, like fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos, believes his operations can run more smoothly without relying on unions to keep workers in line. This is especially true given that the UAW does a poor job of suppressing opposition from big business leaders, as evidenced by the wave of popular revolutions in recent years, including most recently at Volvo Trucks. , Dana meNot available and John Deere.

In 2016, UAW President Dennis Williams — who was later sent to prison in the prosecution of dozens of federal officials and relatives who took bribes from the company or engaged in other union corruption — met Musk and praised him for being a “unique person.” Williams said the UAW was trying to unite Tesla but “didn’t approach it in a confrontational fashion.” In other words, the UAW offered preferential treatment to Tesla to keep labor costs “competitive” in exchange for neutrality in the union’s recognition vote. Deals like this, made behind the backs of workers, were the way UAW campaigns “organised” at Freightliner, VW and many other companies.

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