An employee with Tesla Inc. who was organizing a union was asked by both his supervisor and security guards at the company to leave the plant after he handed out flyers that were pro-union, said that worker during a hearing Monday of the National Labor Relations Board over whether the electric vehicle maker violated the federal safeguards given employees.
The NLRB brought this case before an administrative law judge of the board after it received complaints from three workers at Tesla as well as from the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America.
The company, if it loses, could be forced to notify all employees that it committed unfair labor practices, which would be a victory of those in union organizing.
This case comes during a time that Tesla has been struggling to increase production of its Model 3 sedan that is intended for mass production which is a key to the vehicle maker achieving profitability over the long term.
An NLRB attorney said that Tesla asked its workers to sign a confidentiality agreement that was overly broad in preventing them from discussing publicly conditions at work.
Tesla denied those allegations and called them an effort to make company CEO Elon Musk appear to be bad.
Michael Sanchez, an employee with Tesla for the last six years and who currently is on medical leave, said company security guards as well as one supervisor told him to leave while he was handing out the leaflets to his colleagues near the entrance to the facility in February of 2017.
An attorney that supports NLRB counsel in this case said what is seen here is a heavy-handed campaign against the union that affected all levels of the everyday lives of workers.
An attorney speaking on Tesla’s behalf listed close to two dozen allegations against Tesla that were found to be meritless and dismissed. The attorney added that the fact is Tesla is a business that values employees.
In several tweets during May, Musk said that he did nothing to prevent Tesla workers from efforts to unionize saying that nothing is stopping the team of workers at Tesla from voting on a union at the plant.
The hearings will continue until Thursday afternoon and then resume in the latter part of September and a judgement will be delivered by the judge shortly thereafter.