Tesla Model 3 Launch Jeopardized By Potential German Union Strike

Unhappy workers at Tesla’s new German engineering unit may go on strike and components produced there are needed by the Model 3 due to launch in July.

In question is whether Tesla would have a workaround in the event of a strike, and eyes meanwhile are on what’s happening.

German media outlet Welt Am Sonntag reported a strike may take place as soon as this week at the engineering group working at Tesla Advanced Automation Germany.

Late last year, Tesla acquired German company Grohman Engineering, which was changed over to the new Tesla business unit name. That deal was made as part of the U.S. electric automaker’s scheme to speed up the development and production process for the Model 3.

IG Metall, the union representing the workers, said that the 660 workers are being paid 30 percent below the union rate.

Employees felt more pressure from Tesla by seeing all its non-Tesla orders cancelled by the new owner. Grohman’s founder had quit the company over it.

The union asked for a wage increase of about 400 euros per month, but Tesla is only offering about 150 euros as an increase. Tesla also offered to increase compensation through a stock ownership program, but this too is facing resistence from union workers.

The union issued a statement that Tesla’s response was unsatisfactory and that a strike would soon be considered.

The company acknowledged the need to pay competitive wages.

“We want to grow significantly in Prüm and understand that we have to pay competitive wages in order to achieve that,” said a Tesla statement. “Everyone at Tesla Grohmann Automation is fair and competitive above the branch level.”

The corporate office is reportedly anxious about the July production launch of the Model 3 being jeopardized by the strike.

SEE ALSO:  Leaked Elon Musk Letter Asks Tesla Workers To Resist Unionization

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has become well versed in the unionization drive that has impacted the auto industry throughout its history.

In February, Musk sent out an email to workers asking them to vote no on joining the United Auto Workers union. That union was surging forward in its aggressive campaign to unionize 6,200 workers at Tesla’s plant in Fremont, Calif.

Musk warned that in order for the company to survive the rigorous, demanding process of staying in business as an automaker, it needed for workers to stay out of the union.

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