BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Workers at Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo released a statement on Tuesday that they intend to organize.
The announcement said the workers have partnered with Workers United Upstate New York for the effort — the same group that worked with Starbucks employees last year and Remedy House workers last week.
The release also said workers are proud to work towards Tesla’s sustainability and renewable energy efforts, but want a sustainable future for themselves as employees as well. Workers said they feel their voices have been ignored and hope to gain mutual respect in the workplace.
“I believe in Tesla, our mission, and the work I do at the company,” Zahra Lahrache said in the release. “As much as I love my job, it can feel very disheartening living paycheck to paycheck when I work for one of the most successful companies in the world.”
Several other employees also expressed the sentiment that they enjoy working for the company, but hope for better communication and more of a voice.
“I believe in Tesla and the goals they are trying to achieve, but believe that the work can be just as innovative as the company itself,” said employee Keenan Lasch. “We are paid far less than the national average for our job title, and have next to no sick time. We are only asking for a seat in the car that we helped build.”
The announcement said the union would serve as “the conscience of the organization that will protect the culture of trust and respect” at the company.
“I don’t want to be invisible anymore, I want to have constructive conversations with people who see me as their equal,” said Jan Patrick. “Unionizing is allowing me to define what my own worth is, that’s a powerful feeling I want others to have too.”
News 4 has reached out to Tesla for comment and is waiting to hear back.
Tesla employees last tried to unionize in 2018. News 4’s Dan Telvock reported on their efforts.
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Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.