Tesla violated labor laws by threatening workers after they tried to unionize, a California labor judge ruled late Friday.
The company should now hold a meeting to advise employees of their rights, and CEO Elon Musk is expected to attend.
Administrative Law Judge Amita Baman Tracy ruled on Friday that Tesla had violated the National Labor Relations Act several times in the year 2017 also 2018.
The violations included a Musk post in May 2018 saying, “Nothing stopping Tesla group at car plant from voting union. Could accomplish that TMRW if they wished. However, why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing?”
The judge stated the post amounted to “threatening staff”; they might lose their stock options if they voted to unionize.
“Musk’s post can only be read by a reasonable worker to the point that if the workers vote to unionize that they might give up stock options,” Tracy wrote. “Musk threatened to remove a benefit held by the staff consequently for voting to unionize.”
The ruling additionally discovered Tesla violated labor laws by prohibiting workers from circulating pamphlets in their off-hours in the employee’s parking lot in Fremont, California; telling workers it was futile to vote for the union, and interrogating workers about their union activities.
Tracy ruled that Tesla must “stop and desist” that behavior and fully reinstate and compensate one worker who had been unlawfully fired for being involved with union activities. The carmaker additionally wants to notify workers in the meeting that Tesla violated the National Labor Relations Act law’s several times.
The ruling was issued in answer to unfair labor practice complaints filed by the UAW union, also one in 2017 that accused the company of firing union supporters.
In 2018, Tesla defended Musk’s post to the news channel. “Elon’s post was simply a recognition of the fact that unlike Tesla, we’re not aware of a single UAW-represented automaker that gives stock choices or restricted stock units to their production workers, and UAW have consistently dismissed the value of Tesla equity as a part of our compensation package,” a spokesperson stated.
UAW stated on Saturday its contracts with General Motors, Ford and Chrysler did have profit-sharing plans.
Elon Musk is in the midst of quite a few legal battles charging that he is watching out more for his interests than these of Tesla’s shareholders. Tesla spokespeople and attorneys say the suits are without merit and Tesla will vigorously contest them.