Tesla accused of ‘revenge’ on AI team for union campaign


Automaker Tesla has been accused of firing data markers for its Autopilot driver-assistance system as “retaliation for trying to form a union.” The company responded that the reason for the cuts was “their poor performance.”

Earlier, employees sent a letter to the head of Tesla, Elon Musk, where they expressed their intention to unite in a union. The markers said Bloombergthat they even miss their toilet breaks due to the company’s close surveillance.

According to Workers Uniteda day after that, the automaker laid off more than 30 workers.

The organization filed a complaint with the US National Labor Relations Administration, accusing the company of illegally firing staff to “obstruct and retaliate for their trade union activities.”

Workers United asked the agency to seek a federal injunction “to prevent irreparable violation of workers’ rights as a result of the automaker’s misconduct.”

Tesla called the allegations “false” and denied any connection between the layoffs and the union campaign. The cuts affected 4% of Autopilot’s data labeling team due to poor evaluation of their work, the company said in a blog post.

According to Tesla, candidates for dismissal were already known on February 3, 2023, a week before the letter was sent to Musk. Management also notified managers in advance of the start of layoffs for low-performing employees on February 12.

Recall that in July 2022, Tesla fired 200 employees from the Autopilot development team.

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