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Tesla workers reportedly want to form labor union

Dana Hull
Bloomberg News

Tesla Inc. workers at its only auto plant have contacted the United Auto Workers seeking assistance with forming a union, according to a Medium post published Thursday by a man claiming to be a factory employee.

“I think our management team would agree that our plant doesn’t function as well as it could, but until now they’ve underestimated the value of listening to employees,” wrote Jose Moran, who identifies himself as a worker for the past four years at the plant in Fremont, California. “We need better organization in the plant, and I, along with many of my coworkers, believe we can achieve that by coming together and forming a union.”

Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is preparing Tesla’s electric vehicle factory, which currently makes the Model S and X, to begin producing the more affordable Model 3 sedan around July. The Palo Alto, California-based company has told investors in regulatory filings that its business may be adversely affected by higher costs or work stoppages related to union activities.

“We have a long history of engaging directly with our employees on the issues that matter to them, and we will continue to do so because it’s the right thing to do,” a Tesla spokesperson said in an emailed statement Thursday.

Representatives for the UAW didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the Medium post. Bergen Kenny, a consultant to labor unions with San Francisco-based Storefront Political Media, sent the Medium post to Bloomberg News.

The company delivered about 76,000 cars worldwide last year and aims to produce 500,000 annually by 2018.