"The UAW killed NUMMI and abandoned the workers at our Fremont plant in 2010," he added. "They have no leg to stand on."
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has accused the United Auto Workers of planting a worker to 'agitate' for unionization at the company's Fremont factory.
A blog post authored by alleged Tesla worker Jose Moran claims Fremont workers are overworked and underpaid. "Preventable injuries happen often," he claims, and "most Tesla production workers earn between $17 and $21 hourly," below the $28/hour "living wage" in Alameda county.
"We need better organization in the plant, and I, along with many of my coworkers, believe we can achieve that by coming together and forming a union," Moran wrote.
Speaking to Gizmodo, Elon Musk admitted that there is sometimes mandatory overtime if the factory is attempting to make up for a "production stoppage" but it is "dropping almost every week." He claims Tesla's starting pay is actually higher than for UAW workers and "total compensation is higher for a given level of seniority when factoring in stock grants."
"Our understanding is that this guy was paid by the UAW to join Tesla and agitate for a union," Musk added. "He doesn't really work for us, he works for the UAW."
The executive claims Tesla is "union-neutral," however he appeared to lash out against the UAW.
"Tesla is the last car company left in California, because costs are so high," he said. "The UAW killed NUMMI and abandoned the workers at our Fremont plant in 2010. They have no leg to stand on."
The UAW responded with another statement categorizing the allegations surrounding Jose Moran as "fake news" and claiming that "Mr. Moran is not and has not been paid by the UAW."
"We would hope that Tesla would apologize to their employee, Mr. Moran, for spreading fake news about him," the union added. "We can confirm that Mr. Moran and others at Tesla have approached the UAW, and we welcome them with open arms."
Despite retaining a stronghold in Michigan and other factories in the Midwest, the UAW's membership has declined in recent decades. The union has encountered difficulty attempting to organize Southern plants, such as Volkswagen's Chattanooga factory, though California presents a different political environment than the traditional anti-union South.