On September 15, 2023, Mike Duneske, a member of United Auto Workers, can be seen walking the picket line at the Michigan Assembly Plant of Ford Motor Company in Wayne, Michigan. This image was captured by Paul Sancya for AP Photo.
By James Bikales
The most recent clash between the viewpoints of the White House and the unpredictable billionaire.
Musk has successfully emerged victorious in multiple initial clashes with the government, such as persuading major car manufacturers to adopt Tesla’s charging technology as the unofficial standard in the industry.
Garrett Nelson, vice president of equity research at CFRA Research, an investment advisory firm, stated that Tesla’s competitive edge against the Detroit Three is expected to expand. He noted that Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis currently offer higher wages to their employees compared to Tesla, and this difference in labor expenses is bound to increase even with the concessions the automakers have made.
Requests for comment from the UAW, Tesla, and the White House went unanswered.
Employees at three plants owned by GM, Ford, and Stellantis went on strike on Friday. The union is already pressuring President Biden regarding the effects of his electric vehicle initiative on their employment. This situation will only worsen if a non-union rival benefits from the strike.
During Biden’s time as president, his administration, which supports labor rights, has been hesitant to recognize the fact that Musk’s company, which is openly opposed to unions, is at the forefront of the country’s transition to electric vehicles. According to Cox Automotive, Tesla made up 60% of new electric vehicle sales in the U.S. during the second quarter of this year.
In the year 2021, the government extended an invitation to top officials from Ford, GM, and Stellantis to attend a significant conference on electric vehicles at the White House, but chose not to invite Tesla and its CEO, Elon Musk. When questioned about the possible reason for this exclusion, the former White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated, “These three companies are the biggest employers of the United Auto Workers, so I’ll leave it up to you to form your own opinions.”
In January of 2022, President Biden held a meeting at the White House with Mary Barra, CEO of GM, and Jim Farley, CEO of Ford, to discuss the administration’s plans for a significant climate bill. Notably, Tesla was not represented in this meeting. Following this, Elon Musk referred to the President as a “damp [sock] puppet in human form.” Later in the year, CNBC reported that the White House had informed Musk that he would not be invited to future meetings with other corporate leaders.
Musk stated in reply that Biden has consistently disregarded Tesla and made misleading claims to the public about GM being the leader in the electric car market.
The White House invited Musk for a meeting to talk about how to put into action the government’s plans to offer billions of dollars in incentives for electric vehicles. A few weeks later, it was announced that the White House had negotiated a deal with Tesla, where they would make some of their charging stations available to the public in return for receiving federal funding.
Over the summer, the White House backed a campaign to…
Establishing Tesla’s charging technology as the standard in the industry. …
It followed the emergence of electric vehicle competitors, with Ford and GM leading the charge against Tesla.decided to adopt
Tesla has adopted the North American Charging Standard, despite the Biden administration’s recent requirement for a competing charging standard on federally funded chargers.
Different variations of the Tesla Model 3, Model Y, and Model X are eligible for the complete $7,500 tax credit for consumers, as outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act passed last year. This benefit applies to customers who fall below the income limits set by the law.
A prolonged strike may hinder the ability of Ford, GM, and Stellantis to accomplish two crucial tasks: introducing new electric vehicle models and reducing their prices to attract new customers.
The prices were significantly reduced this year.
According to Tyson Jominy, the vice president in charge of data and analytics at J.D. Power, Tesla is already setting itself apart in terms of pricing for its electric cars.
In March, a federal court of appeals declared that Musk’s 2018 tweet, which threatened to revoke stock options from Tesla workers organizing with the UAW at their Fremont, Calif. factory, was illegal. Musk has appealed this decision.
In February, the automobile manufacturer terminated 18 employees in Buffalo, New York who were working in software roles. This occurred within a day of their announcement to form a union, resulting in a complaint being filed with the National Labor Relations Board.
On Thursday, in a post on his social media platform X (formerly referred to as Twitter), Musk stated that the factories for both Tesla and SpaceX have a positive atmosphere that fosters enjoyment and music.
“We pay more than the UAW [by the way], but performance expectations are also higher,” Musk wrote. “Quite a few of our factory techs who work on the line have become millionaires over the years from company stock grants.”
In a recent interview with CNBC, UAW President Shawn Fain downplayed worries about Tesla’s edge in the market.
“I am not worried about Elon Musk’s pursuit of building more rocket ships and exploring outer space, as competition often leads to a race to the bottom. Our focus should be on ensuring that working-class individuals receive their fair share of economic justice.” – Fain stated.
According to Mona Dajani, a partner at Shearman and Sterling, Elon Musk has expressed opposition to unionization. Dajani has experience working with clients in fields such as clean energy, mobility, and energy technology. She notes that Musk’s belief is that his employees are not part of a union but are offered stock options that are the most valuable in the automotive industry.
According to Dajani, who is not representing Tesla or her company, he believes that the UAW is outdated and outdated and that he is paying his employees even higher wages.
This report was co-authored by Tanya Snyder and Olivia Olander.