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Tesla Denies Retaliatory Firing of Employees Involved in Union Campaign, According to Elon Musk

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Elon Musk's Tesla has denied claims that it fired workers who were attempting to form a union in New York State. 

In a blog post, the electric car manufacturer stated that the decision to lay off 27 employees due to "poor performance" was made on February 3rd, at least 10 days before the announcement of the union campaign. 

The company also stated that they only later realized that one of the 27 impacted employees was an "official" part of the union plan.

Earlier this week, workers at Tesla's Buffalo plant announced their plans to form a union with Workers United Upstate New York. 

The employees of the Autopilot facility alleged that workers were terminated after sending a letter to Musk outlining the union campaign and requesting that he sign the Fair Election Principles, which would prevent Tesla from threatening staff. 

In a filing with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Workers United Upstate New York union claimed that Tesla was retaliating against union activity. 

The organizers stated that "over 30 workers" were fired, and a new rule was introduced banning recording workplace meetings without the approval of all participants.

On Wednesday, the carmaker announced that 4% of its 675-member Autopilot labeling team in Buffalo would be laid off.  

Tesla argued that despite receiving criticism for their performance, these employees had not demonstrated improvement. Performance reviews are conducted every six months, and employees are rated on a scale of 1 to 5. 

Employees who do not meet expectations will be let go, and managers were informed in December that non-performers would have to leave from February 12th. 

The union organizers said that more people are likely to be added to the layoff list, and they are still determining if the terminated workers were directly or indirectly connected to the campaign tesla stock.

Musk has been openly opposed to unions in the past and has faced criticism for his anti-union comments.

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