The United Auto Workers (UAW) is currently in the midst of a historic strike that is affecting the three major automakers – General Motors, Stellantis, and Ford – in Detroit. While this strike doesn’t directly involve Tesla, UAW President Shawn Fein recently criticized the electric vehicle manufacturer and its CEO, Elon Musk, for their use of non-unionized labor.
During an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation program, Fein expressed disapproval of Tesla’s use of non-unionized labor in its facilities in the United States. He argued that this gives Tesla an advantage over Detroit automakers, who would face substantial labor costs if they were to meet UAW’s demands.
Fein emphasized that labor costs represent only a small percentage of the total price of a vehicle and that Detroit automakers could afford to pay higher wages without significantly affecting vehicle prices.
In addition to Fein’s criticisms, Representative Debbie Dingell joined the conversation, condemning the wage disparity at Tesla. She pointed out that the majority of people in the country cannot afford a Tesla, including many executives. These comments reinforce the idea that Tesla’s compensation practices are not aligned with the overall American workforce.
Despite UAW’s efforts to unionize Tesla workers in California and New York, they have not been successful thus far. It remains to be seen how this ongoing dynamic between UAW and Tesla will unfold, but for now, the focus is on the historic strike targeting Detroit automakers.