Tesla Fires New York Plant Workers After Union Push
Tesla fired several employees at a solar panel and renewable energy technology factory in Buffalo, New York shortly after the former employees launched a unionizing effort.
According to a report by Michelle Chapman for the Associated Press, several employees were fired from a Tesla factory in Buffalo, New York just one day after launching a union organizing effort. A letter was sent to management by Tesla Workers United on Tuesday, one day before the firings, notifying the company that employees wanted a voice at the plant.
In a statement, Tesla claimed that the workers were fired for poor performance reviews that took place before the unionization effort began. Tesla said that 27 of the employees at the factory were let go, and only one of them officially identified as part of the union campaign.
Arian Berek, one of the employees who was fired and a member of the organizing committee, stated "I feel blindsided, I got Covid and was out of the office, then I had to take a bereavement leave. I returned to work, was told I was exceeding expectations and then Wednesday came along. I strongly feel this is in retaliation to the committee announcement, and it's shameful."
Tesla employees also received an email on Wednesday night stating a new policy that would prohibit employees from recording workplace meetings without all participants' permission. Tesla Workers United said the policy violates federal labor law and New York's one-party consent law to record conversations.
A complaint was filed against Tesla with the National Labor Relations Board by the Rochester Regional Joint Board of Workers United. The complaint accuses Tesla of unfair labor practices.
Tesla Workers United also stated that the firings were unacceptable, and referred to the expectations of Tesla employees as unfair, unattainable, ambiguous and ever changing.