Tesla Workers in Germany Join Union as Health and Safety Issues Grow

Tesla workers at the carmaker’s Brandenburg plant are joining the IG Metall union in rising numbers over concerns around health, safety and overwork, the union said on Monday.

The leading challenge was Lack of staff and inadequate safety provisions in the workplace which resulted to high number of accidents at work, and it was not rare that around 30% of workers were signed off sick, the union said in a statement.

Reuters was not able to independently verify the union’s claims and Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Union representatives met workers at the factory gates, on the platforms of nearby stations and inside the factory on Monday handing out stickers stating “Together for safe and fair work at Tesla”.

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On Sunday night, Tesla managers invited their teams to a meeting with “free food and a surprise” to discuss IG Metall’s presence on the site, stating: “We want to speak with you and your teams about the questionable methods and actual goals of IG Metall,” according to a copy of the email seen by Reuters.

“The law gives all workers the right to organise in a union and stand openly for that at their workplace. That counts at Tesla in Brandenburg as well,” Dirk Schulze of IG Metall said.

The union said it does not share specific membership numbers for companies as a matter of course, but that it has seen a steep rise in the number of new members at Tesla.

Reuters spoke to twelve workers at the factory on Monday.