More than 30 workers at a Tesla facility in New York were fired after going public with a union campaign. It’s the latest in a long line of alleged labor abuses by CEO Elon Musk.

By Jeff Schuhrke, In These Times

In what appears to be a swift reprisal, more than 30 employees at a Tesla gigafactory in Buffalo, New York were fired on Wednesday — just one day after the workers publicly announced their intent to unionize. In a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), workers allege that the firings were ​in retaliation for union activity and to discourage union activity.”

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“I feel blind-sided,” said Arian Beck, one of the fired workers who is supporting the union campaign. “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.”

Calling themselves Tesla Workers United, the workers are partnering with the SEIU-affiliated Workers United — the same union that has won NLRB-supervised elections at nearly 300 Starbucks stores since December 2021, a campaign that also began in Buffalo.

Headed by multi-billionaire Elon Musk, Tesla is the only entirely non-union major automaker in the United States. On the same day as the firings in Buffalo, Musk revealed that he gave nearly $2 billion of his own Tesla stock to charities last year.

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