Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk told a panel of Silicon Valley Tesla owners he and the United Auto Workers have been fighting for years.
“I think the general public is not aware of the degree to which unions control the Democratic party,” Musk began.
“Last year, President Biden held an EV (electric vehicle) summit where Tesla was explicitly not allowed to come but the UAW was,” noted Musk. “Tesla’s made two-thirds of all the electric vehicles in the United States so deliberately excluding us from the EV summit at the White House, but including the UAW, that tells you all you need to know.”
Musk characterized relations between his nonunionized auto company and the UAW as almost being enemies. He said the UAW hates that his transformational electric car company is not staffed by unionized workers. The owner of Tesla and SpaceX believes the UAW would rather Tesla went bankrupt if the union can’t represent the workers.
His electric cars sparked a worldwide acceptance of the feasability of transitioning to cleaner renewable energy sources, such as electricity to power vehicles and industry. Musk claims the UAW is not a fan of sustainable energy, insisting they have fought sustainable energy the entire way.
No matter how angry unions get or what dirty tricks they play against Tesla and its owner, Musk says it is simple economics that are keeping unions out of his California factories. He notes that California is a very prounion state so, if it were a question of politics or illegal behavior on his company’s part, state regulators would jump on the union’s side in a heartbeat, he believes.
“Tesla has the highest pay in the auto industry and the people that work at our Freemont plant have five job offers to work somewhere else,” Musk explained. “There’s negative unemployment in the Bay area. Try hiring someone in the Bay area. It’s ridiculous.”
He described Tesla as having to find ways to convince people to stay, given all the other opportunities they have. So he does not see how a union will sway people with promises of better pay.
“When the president of the UAW was sent to prison, that took some of the wind out of their sales,” he gleefully remarked. “When the next UAW president — who was supposed to clean things up — was sent to prison also, that also took some more wind out of their sails.”
He expressed disgust about how much power the UAW has over the White House, to the point they can exclude the company responsible for the electric car revolution in the U.S. from an EV summit. He called it insane.
“President Biden with [General Motors CEO] Mary Barra, congratulating Mary for having led the EV revolution,” explained Musk, “I believe this was in the same quarter that GM delivered 26 electric vehicles and Tesla delivered 300,000.”
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