Berlin-Tesla’s Berlin plant will elect the first labor-management council on February 28th. Germany’s largest union, IG Metall, expressed concern on Thursday that it was too early for elections to become a truly representative organization.
Only one in six of the approximately 12,000 workers expected at the factory is employed, partly because Tesla is still awaiting final approval from the local government to start production. The council consists of 19 members.
IG Metall, which represents workers in car companies and other industrial sectors, fears that calling elections before more workers are hired will lead to a top-heavy council of management.
Under German labor law, only employees who have worked for the company for more than 6 months can run for election.
Election results are valid regardless of the percentage of the workforce voted, and only if the workforce increases by 50% or more can a new election be called after two years.
Birgit Dietze, head of the IG Metall regional office in Berlin-Brandenburg-Saxen, where the Tesla factory is located, said:
Her comments reflect a statement she made in November when the union proved that the election was on the card.
Tesla personnel couldn’t get immediate comments.
CEO Elon Musk has used an organized workforce in the past and was ordered to remove comments made on Twitter in 2018 in March last year. This could lead to deprivation of stock options if US employees formed a union.