Chief Executive Elon Musk said he was open to the United Auto Workers union holding a vote about organizing labor at the company after long resisting such a move.
“Our real challenge is Bay Area has negative unemployment, so if we don’t treat and compensate our (awesome) people well, they have many other offers and will just leave!” Mr. Musk said via Twitter late Wednesday. “I’d like hereby to invite UAW to hold a union vote at their convenience. Tesla will do nothing to stop them,” he said.
The UAW had no immediate comment.
Workers for Tesla, America’s largest car company by value, aren’t unionized. Some employees at the company’s plant in Fremont, Calif., sought to organize several years ago with the help of the UAW union. Tesla took steps to hinder that effort, including “coercively interrogating” employees and threatening them with the loss of stock options, moves that violated U.S. labor law, the National Labor Relations Board ruled. The board ordered Mr. Musk to delete a tweet that discouraged unionization, among other remedies. The electric-vehicle maker has appealed the board’s decision.