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NLRB orders Tesla to have Elon Musk delete anti-union tweet

A 2018 post by the Tesla CEO threatened workers' stock options if they sought a union.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk, king of the internet
Image: Daniel Oberhaus (2018) / Protocol

The National Labor Relations Board ruled today that Tesla violated labor laws when the company fired a union activist.

According to the NLRB, Tesla CEO Elon Musk also violated labor laws when he tweeted in 2018, "Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union. Could do so tmrw if they wanted. But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing?"

In order to make things right with the NLRB, Tesla must compel Musk to delete the tweet. Tesla must offer the terminated employee, Richard Ortiz, his job back within the next two weeks. In the event Ortiz's job no longer exists, the NLRB said, Tesla must offer him a "substantially equivalent position."

Beyond Musk's tweet and the termination of Ortiz, Tesla also broke the law by retaliating against another employee in favor of a union, as well as by "coercively interrogating" other union supporters and preventing them from speaking to the media. The labor board ruled Tesla must refrain from questioning employees about union activities, as well as from requiring employees to get authorization from the company to speak to the media about unionizing.

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