Workers at Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) laid down their tools yesterday in protest against poor pay from the company.
The union workers claim that the gigafactory in Nevada has not been paying them well and that the company is hiring more and more people from outside the state. The employees who boycotted work on Monday include electricians, carpenters, painters, plumbers and others bringing the total number of workers in protest to 350.
The workers claim that yesterday’s protest was only the beginning of their outcry. Todd Koch, leader of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada, told Fortune that they had not yet determined whether the protests will continue. He, however, stated that the union was considering its options and that they will push on until their grievances are heard.
Russell James, a District 16 business development specialist, described the situation as corporate welfare at its worst. The protesters including the union leaders claim that the company has been carrying out unfair practices that undercut the agreement with the union to employ Nevada workers and, in turn, receive a tax relief of $1 billion. The workers claim that there has been an increase of workers who are not from the union.
Mr. Koch stated that the tax incentives were designed as a bargaining tool for the company to hire more people from Nevada and not New Mexico. Tesla released a statement saying that it has complied with all the requirements of the state. The company also noted that most of the workers at the gigafactory in Nevada are from the Union.
The statement from the company pointed out that more than 75% of the workers at the gigafactory belong to Nevada, and more than 50% of those hired through the company’s contractor are also from the Union. However, somehow they still claim that the union contractor is favoring non-union workers. According to James, the company has been hiring outside workers because it can pay them less. However, Tesla claims it is within the agreements with the state.