Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk is pushing back against claims that workers at the company’s Fremont, Calif., plant are underpaid and overworked, setting the stage for a fight over potential unionization at the plant.
Jose Moran, who claims to have worked at the factory for four years, made the accusations in a blog post on Medium. Moran said workers have contacted the UAW -- which has been reaching out to Tesla employees since last year -- about their concerns.
“Injuries, poor morale, unfair promotions, high turnover and other issues aren’t just bad for workers -- they also impact the quality and speed of production,” Moran wrote. “They can’t be resolved without workers having a voice and being included in the process.”
Musk refuted the claims via direct messages to the tech website Gizmodo on Twitter.
“Our understanding is that this guy was paid by the UAW to join Tesla and agitate for a union. He doesn’t really work for us, he works for the UAW,” Musk wrote. “Frankly, I find this attack to be morally outrageous.”
Musk went on to blame the UAW for the closure of New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., the joint venture between General Motors and Toyota that owned and operated the plant between 1984 and 2010.
“The UAW killed NUMMI and abandoned the workers at our Fremont plant in 2010,” he wrote. “They have no leg to stand on.”
The union fought back against Musk in a statement Friday.
“Mr. Moran is not and has not been paid by the UAW,” the union said. “We would hope that Tesla would apologize to their employee, Mr. Moran, for spreading fake news about him. We can confirm that Mr. Moran and others at Tesla have approached the UAW and we welcome them with open arms.”