Leaders rip Tesla pact

More than 50 labor, environmental and social justice groups sent Tesla a letter Thursday criticizing a confidentiality agreement the electric automaker’s employees must sign and urging the company to honor the right of workers to organize.

The groups — including Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition and two chapters of the United Automobile Workers union — argue that the agreement violates labor laws that protect the right of employees to discuss their working conditions. A group of California legislators raised the same issues in a letter to Tesla CEO Elon Musk in January.

Tesla has argued that the agreement does not violate workers’ rights, because the agreement’s language specifically says any communications “allowed by law” are permitted. A Tesla spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Complaining of stressful working conditions at the company’s Fremont factory, some Tesla employees have urged their co-workers to unionize. The company is trying to dramatically expand production at the plant and is gearing up to begin building its next car, the Model 3, this year.

 

Published in the San Francisco Chronicle April 14, 2017. Link: http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Business-News-Roundup-April-14-11072261.php