Tesla and the powerful German union prepare for battle

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Tesla’s efforts to build a new Gigafactory near Berlin have had a few hiccups, but they seem to be going smoothly overall.

However, it looks like the automaker may have to grapple with IG Metall, a powerful union in Germany.

Elon Musk came to Berlin earlier this week and received compliments from German leaders by receiving an Axel Springer Award.

The CEO of Tesla appears to have successfully charmed Germany since he announced that Tesla would build a massive factory near Berlin.

However, there is one group of people that Musk did not charm and that is IG Metall, a powerful trade union in the auto industry in Germany.

They have over 2 million members and they have a lot of weight with all the car manufacturers in Germany.

Years ago, when Tesla entered Germany more seriously with the acquisition of a large engineering company, they had an organizing effort, but they were able to prevent IG Metall from going into their business. German operations by offering a salary increase to its employees and stock options.

Last month, we got our first hint that Tesla could face yet another push to unionize in Germany after the automaker hired the former manager of a Mercedes-Benz factory and IG Metall either. gone strangely mad.

Now that Tesla is starting to ramp up its recruiting efforts for Ggiafactory Berlin, we have learned that IG Metall has contacted Tesla about the collective regulation of wages and working conditions, but Tesla has not responded, according to the union.

Birgit Dietze, IG Metall District Manager in Berlin-Brandenburg-Sachsen, commented (via Sifted):

“We are in contact with our sister organizations at other Tesla facilities, so we are fully aware of personal allegations, as well as legal charges and litigation against Tesla. We could take this as a clue as to what to expect from Tesla at Grünheide.

Unions in Germany are different from those in the United States, but Tesla has already seen fighting against organizing efforts in North America, where the United Auto Worker has attempted to organize workers at the Tesla factory in Fremont. .

In fighting these efforts, Tesla has been accused of breaking labor laws.

The automaker argued that Tesla employees are better off without a union because they believe they have an organization that prepares their employees for success and everyone is offered stock options, making them co-owners of the company.

In Germany, Tesla plans to eventually employ more than 10,000 people for its manufacturing efforts.

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