Pinoy Tesla employee speaks out, citing poor working conditions, no union

FREMONT, CA — Tesla is one of the most forward-thinking auto companies — but some of its workers, including kababayans, are calling out its management for reportedly failing to provide them with a good working environment. The workers are now pushing for the right to unionize.

At the Tesla factory in Fremont, thousands of cars are produced daily.

Tesla prides itself in its innovation in the auto industry — taking its lead from founder Elon Musk.

But for this Filipino-American worker, even with all the amazing things Tesla is doing for motorists around the world — the company could do a better job for the people actually making those cars.

Michael Catura has been working at Tesla for three years now, and says while he enjoys what he is doing — he does not like his work environment.

“There’s a lot of political issues going on, favoritism,” he said. “The buddy system, if you know what I mean. A lot of people are benefiting from promotions and leveling up all because they are having a close relationship with those in upper management.”

Another concern for Catura is the a company confidentiality policy they had to sign, which reportedly threatens workers consequences to workers who exercise their right to speak out about wages, working conditions and the the injuries they sustain at work.

“There’s so many individuals that I got to speak with and a lot of them were injured, and so much of them was to voice out what the injury was, why they got injured… and a lot of people quit after they get injured, because Tesla backs them into a corner,” he said.

Over 50 organizations, along with some California elected officials, sent a letter to Musk — criticizing Tesla’s confidentiality policy and the lack of safety of its workers at the Fremont factory.

One of those organizations was the Alameda County Labor Council.

Fil-Am Josie Camacho is the Council’s executive secretary-treasurer, and says it is only right for the Tesla workers to unionize, to demand for safe working conditions.

“You do face getting injured on the job, but what is unusual is for a company to say you can’t talk about it because of trade secrets,” Camacho says. “People are afraid just to talk about the injury because of retaliation, or they might not get their job. Someone might say ‘oh no we have to let you go because you can’t perform,’ when it was an injury that caused by a lack of safety.”

Camacho hopes that Tesla can follow the lead of other car companies, in protecting its workers.

“If you look at the other auto companies throughout the US, they have unions. They have decent wages. They have good benefits. They are super, super involved with safety on the job.”

Balitang America has contacted Tesla; however, they did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the past, Tesla’s leadership has refuted claims of abuse by some of its workers.

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  • MAR
    21 April 2017 at 10:37 pm - Reply

    You better resign immediately, I will take over your job. California is a Democrat control state, the Union is a big supporter of the Dems politician.Tesla can afford to move their plant to another State.