Tesla workers fired after launching union efforts
Several employees at a Tesla factory in Buffalo, New York have been fired after launching union organizing efforts this week, according to Tesla Workers United (TWU), the Associated Press reported.
The group said in a statement on Thursday that workers received an email around 7 p.m. EST on Wednesday updating them on a new policy that prohibits them from recording workplace meetings without all participants’ permission. TWU said that the policy violates federal labor law and flouts New York’s one-party consent law to record conversations.
The Tesla plant, which makes solar panels and other renewable energy technology, is not far away from a Starbucks location where workers voted to unionize last year.
The Rochester Regional Joint Board of Workers United has filed a complaint against Tesla with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing the electric vehicle maker of unfair labor practices.
In the complaint, the group lists the names of several employees who were 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.” It is asking the NLRB for injunctive relief “to prevent irreparable destruction of employee rights resulting from Tesla’s unlawful conduct.”
As part of union organizing efforts, the Tesla Workers United organizing committee said in a letter to management Tuesday that employees are seeking a voice on the job at the plant in Buffalo and want to “build an even more collaborative environment that will strengthen the company.”