The development could spell trouble for Tesla since the UAW has now got in touch with its workforce, increasing the chances of their forming/joining an union.
Dennis Williams, the President of United Auto Workers has disclosed that the union is in contact with workers at Tesla Inc. and this development could essentially boost the ‘buy American’ message to U.S. consumers.
Williams used this occasion to praise President Donald Trump who has called on companies to produce more products in the country instead of developing them overseas.
Trump has promised to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement and has issued temporarily orders barring travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter the United States.
“It’s very dangerous to single out individual groups based on religion,” said Williams. “It’s un-American.”
Many UAW members were left stranded overseas due to Trump’s order. However the order has been struck down by a federal appeals court.
Williams’ comments highlight the fast changing political colours in the U.S. labor unions and in U.S. citizens in general, as more leaders come out in the open to confront Trump on issues related to free trade and U.S. manufacturing.
“I’m interested in some of the things he’s doing,” said Williams. “I’m very concerned about some of the things he’s doing.”
Williams clarified that he has not met Trump although several other union leaders have met him.
Williams endorsement of Trump’s move to make and ‘buy American’ goods is aimed to pressurize Detroit auto manufacturers to stop importing vehicles from Mexico.
He has stated that the UAW is working on a new advertising campaign aimed at encouraging consumers to buy U.S. made vehicles.
“If it’s not made in America, don’t buy it,” said Williams at a briefing at the union’s Detroit headquarters. He went on to add, “Boycotts may be coming back.”
With regard to the UAW being in touch with workers at Tesla, Williams reiterated that formal efforts to unionise workers at Tesla will “be determined by the interest of employees.”