Tesla Giga Berlin's works council has accused Germany's largest union, IG Metall, of serious violations. The union began to put pressure on Tesla in various ways immediately after the company refused to sign collective wage agreements in 2020.
Tesla factory's works council accuses IG Metall of providing false information and spying on employees. Giga Berlin employee representatives complained that the union does not support the work council and incites Tesla employees to violate labor laws. This follows from an email from the council sent to the factory workers, viewed by rbb24.
IG Metall representatives reportedly made repeated calls to works council members to urge them not to allow a particular employee to be fired. “However, the reasons for the dismissal were so clear that the work council unanimously decided to approve the dismissal,” the email said.
IG Metall also misinformed employees in terms of labor laws, such as shift models and working hours. In addition, the union initiated actions on the part of Tesla employees during working hours, without saying that they could be fired for this in accordance with German labor law.
IG Metall has been interfering with Tesla and its employees ever since the manufacturer announced the construction of its factory in Germany and made it clear that it would not sign collective wage agreements. The Texas-based company offers its employees an attractive salary and many other incentives so that they come together to achieve the main goal: accelerating the world's transition to sustainable energy.
Tesla's refusal to cooperate with IG Metall threatens the existence of the largest union in Europe, which is why it is so desperate to interfere in the relationship between the company and its employees. In fact, Tesla's successful rivalry with IG Metall could be the salvation of all automakers in the country, because the old model with unions has already exhausted itself.
“Our corporate culture tends to keep things the way they've always been,” said Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, director of automotive research at the University of Duisburg-Essen at the start of the standoff in 2020. “Musk is someone who can break that open, and that is the major opportunity here—also for the German carmakers.”
At the beginning of 2022, Tesla successfully created a works council in Giga Berlin, which is really useful for its employees. Employees elected colleagues from their company to the works council. It then championed the rights of all employees of Giga Berlin and negotiated with the company. Thus, while unions create the impression of caring for all employees of the company—on which they are making money—works councils sincerely care about the employees of the company, protecting their rights because they are also employees of the company.
Practice shows that trade unions are harmful because they act as monopolies. Union members can demand higher wages and work less. Threatening to stop working if companies do not pay employees more, unions force them to lay off some workers, because they cannot afford to do so. And the bottom line is that trade unions are harmful not only to companies but also to employees. They turn them against employers, consumers, shareholders, and other employees, focusing only on a select group of employees. As a result, everyone loses, both companies and employees.
© 2023, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.