Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter earlier this week and the UAW has filed an unfair labor practice charge over what he said.
Has Tesla CEO Elon Musk been taking lessons from President Donald Trump?
One might think so, given Musk’s headline-making actions this week.
In another tweet, Musk asked (in a poll) whether people supported the idea of creating a media credibility rating site (that also flags propaganda botnets).[Note: As of this writing, over 681,000 people (or bots?) have responded to the poll, with 88% approving the idea.]
In another controversial tweet–perhaps with more far-reaching implications–Musk also used his Twitter account to blast the United Auto Workers and the idea of a union at Tesla.
In a tweet (that appears to have been deleted), Musk stated the following:
Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union. Could do tmrw [sic] if they wanted. But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing? Our safety record is 2X better than when plant was UAW & everybody already gets healthcare. [Emphasis added.]
Telsa has long been a target of the United Auto Workers.
Reportedly, the UAW “spent at least a half-million dollars on its Tesla campaign in 2017; its budget line items covered hotels, paid staffers, T-shirts and other assorted campaign swag, and a high-dollar retainer for a media consultancy.”
However, as vicious the UAW has been to Tesla, under U.S. labor law, employers are held to higher standards than unions are.
This makes Musk’s statement about employees potentially losing stock options (in bold above) problematic for the upstart automaker.
Almost immediately, the UAW filed an unfair labor charge (below) against Tesla with the National Labor Relations Board.
While the charge has yet to be investigated and ruled on by the NLRB, the charge itself demonstrates the difference between the President of the United States and a president of a corporation.
In the end, although Donald Trump may tweet things in the middle of the night that creates headlines and raises eyebrows, when the CEO of a company does something similar, there can be almost-instantaneous repercussions.