Home » Why The UAW ‘Would Love’ To Unionize Tesla Next

Why The UAW ‘Would Love’ To Unionize Tesla Next

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If you thought this summer’s coordinated strike by the United Auto Workers and the resulting response from Detroit’s three main automakers was a bruising affair, just wait for the UAW’s drive to unionize currently unaffiliated plants. A company that might be at the top of the list? Tesla.

I watch a lot of sports movies, and a core lesson I’ve taken away is: Don’t stop when you’re on a streak. This is true for websites as well. (Would you believe we had two of our best stories almost back-to-back in the same month this summer?). Assuming the rank-and-file accept these tentative agreements, the UAW has won the biggest concessions in decades. So why stop there?

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

And speaking of unions, it seems like Stellantis may have lost the least coming out of the strike.

We’ll also talk about Toyota, which looks like it’s in pretty decent shape. And finally, let’s end The Morning Dump with some maybe good news from Chevy regarding the Equinox EV’s possible eventual price.

The UAW’s Tesla Push

221026151430 Elon Musk Entering Twitter Hq 1026 Screenshot
Screenshot: CNN

Workers have tried to unionize Tesla’s North American operations before, but have not yet been successful. At one point, CEO Elon Musk even dared the UAW to try to unionize its plants and he’s been critical of unions in his social posts. Musk has already been forced to delete a tweet threatening workers who might unionize and is under investigation by the National Labor Relations Board over allegedly firing someone for trying to organize a response to the company-formerly-known-as-Twitter’s return-to-work policy.

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While there’s been no official movement, it does sound like the UAW isn’t making much of a secret over trying to add Tesla to its trophy case.

First, from Bloomberg (via the Victoria Advocate of Victoria, Texas, aka where you stop for Whataburger en route to South Padre):

Tesla’s roughly 20,000-worker plant in Fremont, California, currently has a UAW organizing committee whose members are talking to coworkers about the advantages of collective bargaining, according to a person familiar with the efforts who spoke on condition of anonymity. The UAW has committed to providing whatever resources are necessary for the campaign, that person said. The union didn’t respond to a request for comment on its spending plans.

Unionizing the EV maker would not only grow UAW’s membership but it would help the union exert its clout as the industry shifts to a battery-powered future.

“The UAW would love to get into Tesla, but I don’t think they have a chance,” said Mark Eberley, a former employee at the Fremont plant who worked on a UAW-backed union drive at Tesla before leaving in 2020.

Can you imagine UAW President Shawn Fain versus Musk? In spite of his environmental credentials, Elon Musk garners little affection from the left-wing arm of the labor movement (and Democratic Party) that’s come in to help support the UAW’s leadership.

There’s a great piece in The Wall Street Journal that talks about the trio of young (one of the guys is 39, so thank you WSJ for that) liberal activists behind the UAW’s successful drive this summer. From that article:

The group includes Chris Brooks, a 39-year-old labor activist recruited early this year to manage the new president’s transition team who then became a top aide. He helped overhaul the 88-year-old union, bringing a renewed militancy and empowering rank-and-file workers by pushing for frequent rallies and events where Fain heard them out.

Part of his strategy has also been to make sure nonunion workers at factories in theSouth were listening. Fain indicated on Sunday that the union would turn to organizing at automakers such as EV leader Tesla and foreign car companies.

The timing is great, with about 2/3rds of Americans supporting unions and the UAW having the wind at its back.

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Tesla, and Elon Musk in particular, make a difficult but appealing target for the UAW. Automakers in this summer’s strike complained about competitors not having to pay union wages and, in particular, referenced Tesla multiple times. Tesla is also the most valuable car company in the world and, if the Union were somehow successful, it could potentially be harder for foreign automakers in the South and Midwest to continue to resist union drives. The fact that Tesla’s Fremont plant is ccurrently under investigation for racial discrimination of its workers doesn’t help.

Of course, Elon Musk seems to relish these sorts of fights. He’s one of the richest men in the world and doesn’t seem to mind firing people. Additionally, Tesla offers vesting stock options and Tesla’s stock is enormously valuable.

From a CNN article explaining why Tesla isn’t unionized yet:

Making it harder to unionize, Tesla offers production workers stock options, which typically have a vesting period of four years, so employees must remain at Tesla to cash them in. Tesla is one of the most valuable companies in the world, and some production workers have become millionaires from their shares in Tesla, Musk has said.

If the UAW does indeed go down this route, expect it to be, as one person quoted in the Bloomberg piece says: “A battle royale.”

The UAW Strike Apparently Didn’t Cost Stellantis As Much As It Did The Other Two

Newpacifica

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Stellantis doesn’t release quarterly profit reports, so we’re going to have to wait until the end of the year to know how, exactly, the company is doing, but the company’s Chief Financial Officer Natalie Knight did share some interesting news with reporters – specifically, that the cost of the strike would only be about $800 million.

Per Reuters:

“We believe we continue to be in a very strong position globally and in the U.S.,” she said in a media briefing. “We’re going to continue to be very focused on sales and profitability in all our regions.”

Knight, who started the job this summer, said the 750 million euro hit to profitability would be the smallest among the Detroit Three.

That’s likely true since both Ford and GM expect losses to exceed $1 billion each. Also, here’s a fun tidbit from Cox Automotive:

Stellantis sales slipped by 2% to 379,817 units from the year earlier, its lowest sales level for a third quarter in at least six years and far from the third-quarter high of 565,034 vehicles in 2019, according to Cox Automotive calculations.

The Chrysler brand was the only gainer, with sales nearly doubling to 42,315 units to their highest volume in at least six years of third quarters. The increase came from one of the two models the brand sells. The Pacifica minivan had a 120% sales increase to 38,353 units. Sales of the aged 300 sedan were down 5% to under 4,000 units.

Coincidentally, the company is also running the highest incentives. Maybe now is the time to get a PHEV Pacifica? I’m a fan.

Toyota Isn’t Doing So Bad

Screen Shot 2023 10 31 At 10.53.40 Am
Chart: Toyota

Toyota is claiming a worldwide record for the company in both sales and production. Specifically, Toyota says it sold 921,308 vehicles in September (up 11.6%) and produced 900,000 vehicles (up 1.5%, thanks mostly to a 12.8% increase in Japanese production).

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A quick look at the chart above also shows year-to-date sales up about 6.7% globally, and up by almost 33% in Japan.

Curiously, minivehicle sales in Japan are lagging behind everything else.

Chevy Equinox EV Price Now $34,995 For 319 Miles Of Range

2024 Chevrolet Equinox Ev 3rs 130

Do I trust the price of a far-off future GM, Ultium-based electric vehicle? I do not. GM got a lot of good headlines when it announced that the handsome new Chevy Equniox EV would cost around $30,000 when it launched.

That was going to be for the entry-level LT trim with a smaller battery capable of about 250 miles. Now GM has announced there will be, eventually, a version that will start at $34,995 with destination. Here are the details via Edmunds:

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The Equinox EV will eventually start at $34,995, including destination — we say “eventually” because the first models off the line will be well-equipped 2RS models priced from $48,995 (front-wheel drive) to $52,395 (all-wheel drive). The budget-friendly version will appear sometime in calendar year 2024, though Chevy declined to say whether this would be a model year 2024 or 2025 vehicle.

So sometime next year there will be a $34,995 Equinox EV that will qualify for a, hopefully, point-of-sale $7,500 tax credit, meaning that in theory a sub $30,000 EV for qualifying buyers. This could be quasi-competitive with the Model 3 and Model Y, especially since GM is touting an estimated 319 miles of range.

Of course, GM has been as inconsistent with pricing as Tesla has been, so if you think all the prices of all these vehicles will be the same by the time this car is actually available I have a signed copy of the Shroud of Turin to sell ya.

The Big Question

Is there any way in hell that the UAW can successfully unionize Tesla’s Fremont plant?

Lead image: UAW Facebook

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Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
7 months ago

If the UAW was able to organize Tesla Fremont (a very unlikely possibility IMHO) Musk would move the work to Texas and Mexico before the first contract was negotiated.

Zipn Zipn
Zipn Zipn
7 months ago

No Carplay/AA with the Equinox (and all the new GM EVs) = No Sale!

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
7 months ago

Stellantis lost less because they sell fewer cars. That’s not much to crow about.

First Last
First Last
7 months ago

Musk likes to claim that his employees gladly accept lower pay and will never unionize because their stock options are making them millionaires (usually followed by a dig at legacy automakers with their stagnant stock prices). I’m all for employee ownership, but – having worked at a company myself with earlier employees who got rich on options, and parking my Honda next to their Ferraris in the employee lot – it’ll be interesting to see what happens with the newer employees as the company matures and its stock starts to reflect the inevitably slowing growth. It can be a double-edged sword.

Bork Bork
Bork Bork
7 months ago
Reply to  First Last

It’s just repackaged trickle down bullshit. “You give me billions and you’ll get millions, pinky swear!”

Sbzr
Sbzr
7 months ago

someone in there listen to Scot Galloway podcasts

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
7 months ago

Wish someone would carbonize Musk like Han Solo.

Ryanola
Ryanola
7 months ago

There’s always a leach looking to attach to success, whether it’s government or union. Unions, like government, are large and dumb. Businesses are smart, Musk would fold up Fremont like a house of cards and ramp up Monterrey MX plant. An exuberant idiot like Fain is no match for Musk, not being a telsa fan myself, just fact. However, it will be interestingly annoying to watch these two carnival barkers go at it.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
7 months ago
Reply to  Ryanola

lookie, here’s the first bootlicker of the day

Fain absolutely dominated the entire negotiating process. Tesla has been a series of lies wrapped up in Musk’s ego since day 1.

You’re likely right otherwise: he’ll just close plants. I simply don’t know if that is legal

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
7 months ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

That hasn’t stopped him before.

Ryanola
Ryanola
7 months ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

How would it be illegal for him to close his plant in CA, still America, right? It would be costly and short sighted, but Musk plays the long game, ultimately, a business decision I would make.

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
7 months ago
Reply to  Ryanola

California is a high cost place to do business for a manufacturing company. The only reason Musk started there was a gravy deal to take over the closed GM/Toyota Fremont plant. I’m sure bailing on Fremont is part of their medium-term plan. They can either expand in TX or have a dozen US governors in RTW states dispensing gravy for another startup location.

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
7 months ago
Reply to  Speedway Sammy

California is also a good place to start a company, especially a fast-growing company with a heavy technology focus. But it’s a less-good place to be a big incumbent. Texas has some high property taxes for business, but if you’re big and high-profile they’re generous with the waivers. Plus cheaper land, somewhat cheaper power, and fewer labor protections. Though CA is technically a RTW state as well, the labor department doesn’t cut much slack and the unenforceability of non-competes makes it easier for small startups and companies offering better conditions to poach good employees.

It’s why you see so many businesses start in CA, get big, then move out.

Last edited 7 months ago by Defenestrator
Ryanola
Ryanola
7 months ago
Reply to  Defenestrator

The legal ability to sue for 3 years after separation of employment for any reason does not really render CA a right to work state. Especially when the employer is responsible for plaintiff attorney fees.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
7 months ago
Reply to  Ryanola

The only way I could think of is if he had specific conditions tied to money governments gave him. That happened in Buffalo.

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
7 months ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

The UAW is in a great place now. The “Big 3” now bundle the highest costs with the worst management. How many months until Auto Bailout 2.0?

Ryanola
Ryanola
7 months ago
Reply to  Speedway Sammy

The bailout is why I stopped buying GM cars, really pissed me off. I previously purchased only GM cars. They royally screwed the stockholders, but absolutely excoriated the bondholders. Now my driveway consists of the German big 3. The UAW is never in a great place, Shawn Fain went nuclear, ultimately burning the entire workforce. They have won a battle at the expense of losing the war. They say you can’t predict the future, but it’s pretty clear what will happen.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
7 months ago

I think both Tesla and the Southern plants will go UAW before long. The recent success UAW has had with the big 3 has to resonate with the poor schmuck earning sixteen bucks an hour in South Carolina.

Genewich
Genewich
7 months ago

I think you underestimate the level of Stockholm syndrome we’re looking at here. I don’t think we’ll see any of the Southern manufacturers unionize any time soon.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
7 months ago
Reply to  Genewich

There is some truth to that. But I have a feeling the “Southern Fever” is going to break as reality sets in.

Bork Bork
Bork Bork
7 months ago

Seems to me they are set to vote for Trump again, I think most people there have no clue what is real.

MrLM002
MrLM002
7 months ago

Why the UAW would love to unionize Tesla next:

1.) More dues

2.) Currently the UAW looks more parasitic than mutually beneficial.

Tesla’s massive success internationally without the UAW while legacy domestic automakers have to have whole separate region specific entities to make region specific vehicles to get people to buy them and said vehicles are not made by the UAW. Tesla being more successful than UAW automakers makes the UAW look bad. The reason the UAW still exists is not because automakers want the UAW around, it’s because automakers can’t be rid of the UAW.

When I was in Norway several years back at least 1 in 5 cars was a BEV and at least half of those BEVs I saw were Teslas, that was a massive shock to me, especially as someone who wanted to check out all the cool BEVs they have there that we can’t get in the US. (the eNV200 was my personal favorite though the eUp! was a close second)

American made automobiles being the majority of a market in a European country is something I thought I’d never see.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
7 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Norway has a ton of BEVs because unlike ICE powered vehicles, they are not subject to absolutely punitive VATs (100%+), you get better parking and cheap or free charging, compared to insanely expensive gas (again, punitive VAT). It’s a struggle for the middle class in Norway to afford an ICE vehicle, but they can easily own a BEV.

MrLM002
MrLM002
7 months ago
Reply to  Wuffles Cookie

Agreed, the amount of Teslas there is what surprised me.

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
7 months ago

I’m not sure why Tesla is the target vs like Hyundai/Kia that have unions in South Korea already, but not here in the US. Odds of them getting a union at Tesla, or any other non-union company are probably fairly slim, unions are declining as employees are more mobile. Used to be staying at 1 company for 50 years and retiring was the plan, now the plan is to keep jumping from job to job, staying in 1 place for 5 years is a lot.

Buzz
Buzz
7 months ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

Because companies do not reward loyalty with raises, pensions, or quality of life improvements like WFH where feasible. It’s all take and no give. Fuck that noise.

William Domer
William Domer
7 months ago
Reply to  Buzz

kThey not only don’t reward loyalty, they remove it as soon a possible for a cheaper version. To the guy at the top who says businesses are smart? I have to disagree. Small businesses, maybe because they have to stay nimble, but something the size of Exxon? Yeah, no.

Loudog
Loudog
7 months ago
Reply to  Buzz

They give stock options at Tesla, which are way better. That’s a great way to build a nest egg if you are looking to the future and care about the company.

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
7 months ago
Reply to  Loudog

Stock options only make sense if your CEO isn’t actively trying to run the company into the ground.

Loudog
Loudog
7 months ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

Interesting observation, but if you’ve been following the company for a while you’ll see it’s been asserted since day one. Let’s compare notes in a year. I don’t think you’re correct, but we’ll see.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
7 months ago
Reply to  Loudog

holy cow this can’t be a serious post

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
7 months ago
Reply to  Loudog

Yeah I’m sure the average production grunt gets life changing stock option grants, and can afford the cash outlay to exercise the options and pay the tax bill.

/s

Last edited 7 months ago by Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
7 months ago

Employees holding stock options have the option to do a cash exercise or a cashless exercise.

You don’t have to have ANY cash on hand to exercise an employee stock option.

If you do pony up the cash, you end up holding more shares, but any cash that you added is invested in that stock, so it is at risk.

If you don’t add cash, you simply end up with fewer shares, as some of the stock is immediately sold to pay for the transaction.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
7 months ago

I’ve been compensated with and earned good $ from stock options at almost every job I’ve had since 2005, so yeah, I do know how they work, but I’m not interesting in arguing about it.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
7 months ago

There is no need to argue facts. I’ll just assume you’ve never dealt with anyone competent regarding your compensation.

Nobody exercises options that are even money or underwater.

Because any stock sold in an exercised option always sells for a profit, a broker will always front the money to exercise the option if you don’t want to bring cash to the transaction.

Nobody loses an in-the-money option because they can’t come up with cash to exercise it, except in rare cases that they’ve been misinformed about needing to come up with cash, or they forget or neglect to exercise it before it expires or becomes out-of-the-money.

Loudog
Loudog
7 months ago

You obviously have no idea how stock options work. Basically, you just said, “The average production grunt can’t work with the listing service (usually Etrade) to look at some videos and make money. We need to spoon feed them centrally managed pap because they’re helpless.” Bravo! Either I’m way smarter than you are or you have no idea how this works. Pick one or both!

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
7 months ago
Reply to  Loudog

The workers who joined in 2019 or earlier are probably very happy with their initial option grants, but those have either mostly or fully vested at this point. The ones who joined more recently (or got more recent refreshers) have options that are under water or close to it and probably wouldn’t agree about them being better.

Loudog
Loudog
7 months ago
Reply to  Defenestrator

I’ve been in this rodeo before. That stock is coming back up, because their fundamentals are pretty good and they’re still going to grow. I’d be happy to revisit this conversation in a year.

Citrus
Citrus
7 months ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

California has laws that are more union-friendly than somewhere like Alabama.

That’s pretty much it.

Fuzz
Fuzz
7 months ago

Tesla stock is back down to Dec 2020 levels, I get a feeling that Tesla millionaire train ain’t coming back.

Citrus
Citrus
7 months ago

I imagine Stellantis isn’t hurt largely because their lots are full of stuff they can’t sell.

As for unions: Tesla only has to worry about unions if they are working around a mercurial manchild who makes major decisions on a whim, which would make things like employment unstable – not due to market forces, but because at any moment he might decide to fire someone or make major decisions affecting your quality of life.

Oh…

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
7 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Compared to GM and Ford they had less to lose. Stellantis US sales are around half of GM and Ford in units.

If you looked at the impact in terms of % of US sales dollars that would be a better indicator comparing the 3.

Factoryhack
Factoryhack
7 months ago

Nah.
2022 U.S market share:
GM: 13.16%
Ford: 10.73%
Stellantis: 8.98%.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
7 months ago
Reply to  Factoryhack

Corrected. They sell 35% less (not 50). Same point though.

Marc Miller
Marc Miller
7 months ago

Well, what do Tesla workers have now that would keep them from unionizing? Just curious. Frankly, I don’t think they would unionize simply because they don’t like Elon Musk’s personality. If the UAW wants to try, it might make an interesting story.

Citrus
Citrus
7 months ago
Reply to  Marc Miller

His personality is actually a big reason why unionization could get a foothold there: Musk is famously mercurial so a way to prevent him from firing people on a whim through a union contract would be very beneficial to employees.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
7 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Has he done that to people on the floor? Usually the office staff are not part of the UAW.

Citrus
Citrus
7 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

While I can’t find the story itself – I’ll keep looking – I do remember reading about Musk visiting the factory floor and firing people arbitrarily.

EDIT: Found it.

https://www.wired.com/story/elon-musk-tesla-life-inside-gigafactory/

Last edited 7 months ago by Citrus
Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
7 months ago

No one on the left likes Musk because he’s a fascist. It’s really that simple. Anyway Tesla would be a huge get for the UAW and they’re the next logical move. Might as well strike while the iron’s hot.

Last edited 7 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Ryanola
Ryanola
7 months ago

Define fascist, don’t think it fits here, but sounds fancy.

William Domer
William Domer
7 months ago
Reply to  Ryanola

Perhaps anyone who owns a business that supports and amplifies right wing racist speech?

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
7 months ago
Reply to  William Domer

Yeah someone who spends billions of dollars to buy a social media platform for the purpose of amplifying the voices he approves of, silencing the ones he doesn’t, and controlling the media narrative around him is, in fact, fascist.

There’s also the whole authoritarianism thing. And others too, but I think the point has been made. “ahhhhhhctually that’s not fascism” has become a run of the mill right wing response because they’re uncomfortable with the fact that it’s what they’re actually advocating for.

Loudog
Loudog
7 months ago

You project a lot in this. Maybe the issue isn’t Musk.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
7 months ago
Reply to  Loudog

Things I want socially/politically: less income inequality, universal healthcare, free college, universal daycare programs, more leave, LGBTQ rights, etc.

What I do for a living: manage mental health services for children.

I’m definitely just like the tech billionaire who has a long track record of abusing employees, advocates for totalitarianism, who bought a social media platform to crush dissent and amplify voices he approves of, etc.

Makes perfect sense!

Loudog
Loudog
7 months ago

Mental health specialist? Okay, I know now. Carry on.

Factoryhack
Factoryhack
7 months ago

While those things you want to be “free” (universal healthcare, free college, universal daycare programs), sound all great at a surface level, they’re certainly not free.

What you’re advocating is merely income redistribution via increased tax dollars from the wages of higher earning people.

As a society, how much appetite do we have for a massive increase in corporate and individual taxes to fund these programs?

Citrus
Citrus
7 months ago
Reply to  Factoryhack

They sound great at a surface level AND at a deeper level!

Let me, someone who lives in an area with universal healthcare, explain how the money works.

In the US, your taxes do not go to healthcare. However, they go to something else: insurance companies.

I pay more taxes than you, correct. But the taxes are all I pay, and that’s done well before I touch the medical system. If I need to go to the hospital, I walk in the door, I get in the system, and I receive care. When I’m healthy again, I leave. My care is paid by my taxes. It’s all done, my responsibility is just bringing my health card so they can link all my records together.

You pay lower taxes, but you pay for insurance. That insurance bump is going to take out your tax advantage. Because you’re still paying for healthcare, you’re just paying someone else for healthcare.

But it goes further than that. Because if I get medical care, it’s paid for, whatever happens. With insurance, it’s not necessarily paid for! Because insurance companies can decide whatever you get isn’t medically necessary, so they can refuse coverage. So you’re spending more than me. You can fight that, of course, but then you’re spending time I don’t have to – and time is money, you’re spending more than me. And there’s the whole in network hospital thing, so there’s a chance you can go to the wrong hospital… And then you’re not covered and pay more than me.

Just because you spend less on taxes doesn’t mean you’re spending less money – and the numbers bear that out, the US has some of the most expensive healthcare per capita in the world.

Factoryhack
Factoryhack
7 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

My health insurance is provided by my employer as part of my compensation.

I would rather keep a higher percentage of my money AND receive the excellent health care I’m provided.

Assuming it’s a battle to get claims paid is not accurate, although is can happen in unusual circumstances.

Plus, in the U.S.we do get free universal health care at age 65 via Medicare, although most people do purchase low cost supplemental coverage that’s generally around $100 per month or less.

Citrus
Citrus
7 months ago
Reply to  Factoryhack

Here’s the thing: You aren’t “keeping a higher percentage of [your] money.” The insurance is part of your pay. If your employer doesn’t have to pay for insurance, that’s money they would be paying you. There’s no such thing as free insurance, just as you say there’s no such thing as free healthcare.

The difference is you’re paying more for insurance than I’m paying for extra taxes. The numbers bear that out – statistically, Americans pay the most per capita for healthcare in the world.

06dak
06dak
7 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

I’d actually say we even fund the advances in medicine for much of the world. Because if you are a medical research company, or a pharmaceutical company, how are your funding your R&D? With the insane profits you make in the US because of our f’d up healthcare system. So because we spend so much, other countries can come in later and buy the stuff developed for us at low rates because they don’t pay the R&D.

It would be interesting if a world existed where the US paid the same as other countries for health care. From my experience in other countries, I would say the advances in medicine would be much much slower.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
7 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

The difference is you’re paying more for insurance than I’m paying for extra taxes.

I recently looked at exactly this question for doing my job in either France or the UK. Turns out that no, I would pay about $18k more in taxes that proportionally went to healthcare (and quite a lot more overall) in Europe compared to the US. Obviously this is skewed, being a mid-career professional, but it seems this is true for a large portion of the workforce.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
7 months ago
Reply to  Factoryhack

No appetite, because the rich obviously contribute a lot to society by hoarding money.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
7 months ago
Reply to  Loudog

Yep, I was thinking you were going to be one of those weirdo Musk supporters. Here we are.

Loudog
Loudog
7 months ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

I like a lot of what he does — electric cars, redefining space transport, exposing serious government abuse of free speech (see: Twitter) Anyone trying to cut through the BS and get something done wants to be like him sometimes. He ain’t perfect though, but neither are we.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
7 months ago
Reply to  Loudog

This is fair

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
7 months ago
Reply to  Loudog

> exposing serious government abuse of free speech (see: Twitter)

Surely you can’t be serious

Loudog
Loudog
7 months ago

Denial (noun): Not a river in Egypt. Seriously, how’s that Kool-Aid tasting? I saw the info dumps. There are court rulings that happened because of it. Wake up.

Citrus
Citrus
7 months ago
Reply to  Loudog

Why don’t you provide real information instead of being snarky and saying, effectively, look it up yourself.

The info dumps didn’t reveal “abuses of free speech.” It revealed the complex process of content moderation and how it relates to their own terms of service.

And, let’s be clear, there have been more naked abuses of power under Musk’s watch, as he had outright banned several journalists.

Loudog
Loudog
7 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

No, it was a clear violation of the first amendment. So now we have a pending Supreme Court case on this, and there is this: https://oversight.house.gov/release/the-cover-up-big-tech-the-swamp-and-mainstream-media-coordinated-to-censor-americans-free-speech-%EF%BF%BC/ There is credible evidence that information was suppressed to benefit a public servant. That was an abuse of free speech.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
7 months ago
Reply to  Loudog

The only thing this first amendment concerns itself with is the government passing laws restricting the exercise of free speech. You can’t be arrested for saying the president is a doodyhead. The government can’t shut down a newspaper for reporting the news, and it can’t force the newspaper to say anything it doesn’t want to say.

Private businesses like twitter, the media, Facebook, etc can do anything they want on their premises. Boost, suppress, paywall, etc any kind of speech. The government has no say in it. If it bothers you, use a different service you’re more aligned with.

The first amendment allows me to make jokes about your mother’s promiscuity without getting arrested. If I make the same jokes at your house, the first amendment doesn’t protect me from you telling me to leave, and it can’t force you to let me stay in your house and continue saying things about your mother.

Anyway, back to cars.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Loudog
Loudog
7 months ago

You obviously didn’t look at any of the evidence because you hate the guy thats running the company. And my car is faster than your car.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
7 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

The info dumps didn’t reveal “abuses of free speech.”

Active question before the supreme court

The government was actually enjoined by the 5th circuit before appealing. That would indicate some level of apparently unlawful activity.

And, let’s be clear, there have been more naked abuses of power under Musk’s watch, as he had outright banned several journalists.

We are not going to mention the scores of journalists and republican politicians (including a sitting president) banned under the prior ownership? Double standards or no standards then I see.

Citrus
Citrus
7 months ago
Reply to  Wuffles Cookie

There’s a game of “my double standards are the right double standards” here.

Blocking a guy who was inciting a riot is the correct decision. Did the moderation team always make the correct decisions? No. Was it evidence of a massive conspiracy? Also no. Was Musk using that leak as a tool to try to present himself as a “free speech warrior” while suppressing information that made him look bad? Yes.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
7 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Nah, your double standards remain dogshit, and whining about having to actually compete an a somewhat level playing field just proves it. If you have to silence your critics instead of addressing the criticism, maybe your policies suck.

Evidence of a “massive conspiracy”- LOL, it’s not a conspiracy when the the government flat out admits that they pressured social media to censor accounts they didn’t approve of it in court filings, it’s just a fact then. The only question is how legal that was.

TDS symptoms are tough, it can be a struggle to regain lost critical thinking skills. I recommend reading some good books and touching grass.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
7 months ago
Reply to  Loudog

> Wake up.

Bwahahahahaha

Loudog
Loudog
7 months ago

Or don’t. It won’t impact anything that matters in the end.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
7 months ago

Who exactly is he silencing? It’s pretty tough to silence people who take their ball and go home (Meta).

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
7 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

it’s hard to know if this is a serious post or not. Because it’s pretty dumb.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
7 months ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

Is it though? I rather think that making subjectively baseless blanket statements that Musk is the one employing censorship tactics regarding Twitter when it’s been objectively documented and confirmed that the Federal Government was the one doing exactly that during the Dorsey era. Shit, the heads of the FBI and DHS admitted to it today when testifying before Congress. Now THAT is Fascism.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
7 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

I didn’t say the feds didn’t do stuff. I agreed that Musk did.

Ryanola
Ryanola
7 months ago
Reply to  William Domer

Nice CNN talking points.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
7 months ago
Reply to  Ryanola

lol more of your bootlicking

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
7 months ago
Reply to  Ryanola

a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

The words fascism and fascist have long been associated with the Fascisti of Benito Mussolini and the fasces, the bundle of rods with an ax among them, which the Fascisti used as a symbol of the Italian people united and obedient to the single authority of the state. 

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
7 months ago

Is there a chance the Fremont Tesla workers could decide to join the UAW? Anything is possible. But if EM got the sense it could happen he would close the plant and setup a tent factory somewhere else no matter the cost.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
7 months ago

The UAW would need to have a defined and tangible benefit for Tesla employees in order for them to make headway. Not tolerating abusive employees and being able to fire them for bad behavior would be a great in.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
7 months ago

More pay, better hours, more PTO, better working conditions, better insurance, pension. Those are all very defined and personally tangible benefits.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
7 months ago

While workplace politics never leaves, having an organization backing up an individual employee at least makes the employer pay lip service to following the contract. Unions aren’t perfect but they’re good to have in your corner as an employee.

V10omous
V10omous
7 months ago

Can you imagine UAW President Shawn Fain versus Musk?

Quite honestly, the two of them deserve each other, and I’d enjoy this site more if they were trapped on a desert island together and out of the news.

Paul E
Paul E
7 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

And just like Zuckerberg before him, Fain would say that Musk isn’t ever going to be ready for a cage fight.

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
7 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Whoever loses, Humanity wins.

Cerberus
Cerberus
7 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

No, that is finally a reality show I would watch. But only if there was violence. Pretty sure muskrat would wuss out. Again.

Paul B
Paul B
7 months ago

I am not the biggest fan of unions, but looking from the outside, the way Elon seems to run things, I think having unions in place at Tesla is a good thing. Even if everything is great now, having a union should prevent it getting worse in the future.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul B

I don’t think they have a reputation as a great work environment for really anyone, factory or office, white collar or blue collar, and it rolls downhill from Musk’s eccentric management style. Also, I dont believe they pay all that well, certainly the sales staff at their stores all make way less than they would in normal car dealerships. There’s a lot of selling the concept of being part of the mission of electrification and decarbonization as a way of getting employees to overlook other issues, as sort of a sacrifice for the greater good. Which, is an attitude I remember from my days working in the nonprofit sector (the pay and benefits are terrible, the hours suck, but we have an important mission that you’re a part of, isn’t that great?). But, the nonprofit I worked for ran on a shoestring budget and went bankrupt due to keeping secret files about pedophiles, which weren’t really all that secret for us employees, and Tesla is one of the richest corporations on the planet

Mr. Canoehead
Mr. Canoehead
7 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Wow, that got dark quickly…although apropos since EM loves calling anyone who disagrees with him a “pedo”.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Canoehead

Not really, I was long gone by the time they filed for Ch11, and most of the names I added to the files were for things like financial malfeasance or using trademarks for commercial or political purposes

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