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The Wall Street Journal: UAW leader says he hasn’t talked to Elon Musk about union vote at Tesla

The leader of the United Auto Workers union said he hasn’t talked with Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk after the chief executive’s invitation to hold a union vote, but was open to such talks if the company addressed past issues.

“I’ve actually not talked to Mr. Musk or any representative of Tesla,” UAW President Ray Curry said during a roundtable discussion with the Automotive Press Association on Tuesday. During the hourlong session, Curry also talked about how the transition to electric vehicles will affect the union’s 2023 negotiations, about organizing EV startups and how supply-chain disruptions might provide opportunities for companies in the U.S.

Musk this month invited the UAW to hold a vote at Tesla, a shift from previous statements he has made criticizing unionization. “I’d like hereby to invite UAW to hold a union vote at their convenience. Tesla will do nothing to stop them,” Musk said via Twitter in early March.

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employees aren’t unionized. Some employees at the company’s Fremont, Calif., plant sought to organize several years ago with the help of the UAW, but Tesla took steps to impede that push, including “coercively interrogating” employees and threatening them with the loss of stock options, moves that violated U.S. labor law, the National Labor Relations Board ruled.

Curry said Tuesday that Tesla could demonstrate its commitment to engaging in unionization talks by addressing issues raised by the NLRB, reinstating workers who were terminated and dropping its appeal of the board’s ruling.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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