Tesla Fights Back Against UAW Organizing Drive

A few weeks ago I mentioned that the UAW had Tesla in its crosshairs. And, as expected, it didn’t take long for Tesla to start fighting back. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently spoke to some of his employees about the issue. First, he refuted the allegations of how unsafe the workplace is, specifically, that most employees in a specific job classification were out on medical leave at the same time due to various work-related injuries.

Next, he promised a frozen yogurt machine and an electric pod roller coaster machine. Now, those of you who follow this blog and/or regularly deal with labor relations knows that employers are not allowed to make promises of benefits to employees during a union organizing drive. Did Mr. Musk just break the law? Maybe. Maybe not. If the frozen yogurt and roller coaster machines were already in the works before the organizing drive started, he likely did not break the law. But that’s not for me to decide – I’m more curious what an electric pod roller coaster machine is….

In another ramp-up of staving off the union drive, Tesla (likely) registered domain names referencing Tesla, unions, and the UAW. I say Tesla likely registered these names because the domains use MarkMontior’s domain name privacy service – the same as Tesla (and this blog) while the UAW uses GoDaddy. Here are some of my favorite registered domains:

  • testlaunionfree.com
  • uawdestroysjobs.com
  • uawkillsjobs.com
  • uawsucks.com
  • unionfreetesla.com
  • uawrocks.com (really, Tesla?)
  • unsafetesla.com

That last name coupled with the public relations cry that workers were off sick show that the UAW has made safety a priority organizing theme. Is Tesla really that unsafe? Maybe. Do  Tesla workers need a union to make the place safer? No, that’s OSHA’s job.

Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can call Matt at (614) 285-5342 or email him at Matt@MattAustinLaborLaw.com.

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