There is a lot of pressure on Tesla to begin deliveries of its Model 3 this year, as promised by the company itself last year. But on top of the different logistical problems they face, a new unionization in California might add to the difficulties. Nevertheless, CEO Elon Musk is determined and sure that nothing will get in the company's way.
As The Los Angeles Times has reported, the pressure to timely produce the Model 3 has reached an all time high as the United Auto Workers union has arrived on the scene. The agency is trying to organize workers at the Tesla plant. Whether or not the UAW has solid support from its workforce, or just a few individuals are unknown.
Nevertheless, a union of any size is likely to get the attention of both Musk and the company as a whole. At this point in time, Tesla cannot afford any distractions. What makes it more difficult is that California's laws and regulations make it relatively easy for union organizers to solicit converts from within the workplace.
The issues began when an employee of Tesla's Fremont factory, Jose Moran, went public with a rant against the electric car manufacturer. He claimed that the employees were being mistreated, which includes preventable injuries, few promotions, bad ergonomics, long hours and some safety issues. Moreover, Moran said that complaints had gone ignored. But to make things worse, he threatened going to the UAW to organize the workers at the plant.
Musk then went on Twitter for his own public tirade. The executive claimed that Moran was "paid by the UAW to join Tesla and agitate for a union." To reiterate his point, he clarified again that "He doesn't really work for us, he works for the UAW." He called Moran's actions "morally outrageous."
The UAW has also gone on the record to claim that it is not paying Moran in anyway at all. Whether or not this is itself true is unclear at this point, as it has just been a battle between what one is saying and what the other is claiming. Although the publication has noted that the UAW has tried to penetrate the company in the past, but did not succeed overall.
Musk is evidently taking the issue seriously, but his statements indicate that there is no real threat at this point. If Tesla can quickly silence these union concerns, then the company can focus on a more vital project: The actual production and delivery of the Model 3. And according to Business Insider, the EV company does have the ability to produce as promised.
The publication noted that Tesla is scheduled to begin test production on February 20, which will allow the company to refine the Model 3 design and pick up on any quality control issues. It will also act as proof for whether or not the Model 3 can actually be produced with the same ease and efficiency as Musk initially reported. It is possible that some units will undergo road tests by March.