Musk claims worker demands would bankrupt automakers
Tesla is currently appealing its own labour law violations
Known anti-labour CEO Elon Musk is putting the United Auto Workers on blast. The Tesla chief exec said that the UAW’s demands for its workers would push the big three automakers into bankruptcy.
Musk said that the union demands would “drive GM, Ford and Chrysler bankrupt in the fast lane,” (via Bloomberg).
The remarks came alongside President Joe Biden endorsing the union’s demands that include pay raises of 36 percent. A demand meant to bring up wages that were slashed during the 2008 recession and that have come at the same time as automaker profits have skyrocketed.
It’s no surprise that Musk is against UAW demands, the billionaire’s companies have long been accused of labour violations. A 2017 effort to organise Tesla’s Fremont planted resulted in a U.S. Labor Board panel finding that the company repeatedly violated federal labour laws including “coercively interrogating” supporters and firing one union activist.
A Tesla factory in Buffalo has been accused of firing dozens of workers in response to a union campaign. Musk has also made dozens of posts against organised labour over many years on X and other sites.
If the UAW is able to get close to its demands with the Stellantis, Ford, and GM, it may suddenly offer a much larger appeal to Tesla autoworkers across the U.S. That could lead to higher costs and fairer wages for the electric automaker, as it continues to grow its sales and production.
A prolonged strike could lead to shortages of new trucks and crossovers. This could increase prices, which had finally begun to fall after the supply chain shortages over the last few years. A move that could benefit competitors.