Lawsuits and complaints have been piling up as Tesla refuses to guarantee their workers protection from injuries, discrimination, and unlawful firings.
A Tesla spokesperson said in a statement that the Palo Alto, Calif., company takes “any and every form of discrimination or harassment extremely seriously”…
If Tesla did take these allegations into consideration, company executives, including billionaire Elon Musk, wouldn’t be engaged in a vicious union-busting campaign to prevent workers from standing together to ensure fair treatment on the job. Rather than firing and retaliating against workers who support standing together, the electric car company is putting its agenda above workers’ needs.
A new report released by Bloomberg details how Tesla deals with workers’ complaints and how harmful and hostile the environment at Tesla is for people of color, especially. Recently, independent contractors have been at the forefront of Tesla’s injustices and have filed a class action lawsuit due to the racial bias in the factory.
Owen Diaz and his son Demetric say they were never out to get Tesla, a company they were both thrilled to work for, at first.. “I brought my son—I told him it was a good job,” Owen said. “To me, that’s probably one of the worst things I could have ever done for him, was put him in that situation.”
Like many other large corporations, Tesla avoids being taken to court by their workers because they force workers to sign arbitration agreements, but independent contractors don’t sign the agreements. As a result the horrific stories of some Tesla workers to come to light. The abuse contractors have endured while working for the company is inexcusable. These working people were degraded by their supervisor and rather than investigating their claims, Tesla has called their complaints a lie. This is not the first time Tesla has been named in a racial discrimination suit, but it is the first to be pursued in a court of law.
“It made me feel like I was less than a man,” said Owen Diaz. “I couldn’t do anything.” In the end, he is doing something: the two are suing Tesla, along with contracting firms West Valley Staffing Group and Citistaff Solutions, alleging a pattern of racial harassment and hostility.
Prior to this lawsuit, The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had handed down a complaint against Tesla, finding merit to a series of charges that were filed against the company over the past several months. Charges range from terminating employees in retaliation for engaging in union and/or protected activities to unlawful interrogations of union supporters and more.
“I’m pleased that the NLRB has found merit to these charges and is taking Tesla to trial on my termination,” said Richard Ortiz, a former Production Associate and union supporter who was fired late last year. “I know in my heart that what they did was wrong, and I look forward to our day in court. The truth is on my side. I have done absolutely nothing wrong. I had an excellent work record, and the only thing I did was try to improve the lives of my coworkers.”
More than ever, is the time for working people to stand together against corporate entities that disrespect and degrade us. Tesla has shown a blatant disregard for its workers with their refusal to protect them from workplace discrimination. The answer at Tesla, and many other big corporations that bend — and even break — the rules to skirt workplace safety and other laws is for those workers to join together. Let us stand with our brothers and sisters at Tesla and support their fight to have a union on the job. It is necessary that we stand together with these workers in holding Tesla and other corporations accountable.