While the United Auto Workers union in the US has yet to successfully unionize Tesla’s workforce, and has apparently been viewed by CEO Elon Musk as nothing more than an agent of the larger auto manufacturers, the situations in other parts of the world are perhaps a bit different.
Case in point: in Germany. There are now apparently around 700 workers at Tesla Advanced Automation Germany (formerly known as Grohman Engineering) who are threatening to strike, reportedly because the union IG Metall has told workers that they are getting paid around 30% less than the union pay scale.
As I don’t speak German, I haven’t been able to completely verify this, but the report seems to have originated with the German publication Welt Am Sonntag, before then being covered by InsideEVs (where I came across it). That publication writes: “Tesla has responded by offering to increase employee pay by some 150 euro per month, but this doesn’t provide wage parity with union rate. The union is asking for a wage increase of closer to 400 euro per month. Tesla is willing to increase compensation further through a TSLA stock program, but this too is being met with criticism from employees.”
Since Tesla’s acquisition of Grohman Engineering was in part to speed up the production process for Tesla Model 3, there’s concern that Tesla could get hit with a delay if this issue isn’t resolved quickly.
This is certainly interesting news (if true), but given the hostile nature of the German establishment’s approach to Tesla, I can’t say that I’m too surprised by it. Attacking Tesla through union-related efforts there would be a sensible approach. As regards the situation with pay at the plant, though, I haven’t been able to verify if Tesla is in fact “underpaying” its workers there. Though, it should be noted as well that they were reportedly concerned to some degree by the subsidiary’s complete shift to Tesla products following the acquisition. Here’s a crude translation from Welt Am Sonntag:
“Tesla cancelled all non-Tesla order at Grohman, which is fueling fears over job security. Grohman’s founder has left the company within reason.”
In related news, we’ve covered the UAW’s efforts to unionize Tesla’s Fremont, California, facility quite a lot. This article should bring you up to date on the matter (if interested): Tesla CEO Elon Musk Disputes Claims About Working Conditions In Leaked Email, Says Free Frozen Yogurt Stands Are Coming.