Ever since Tesla announced it would build a manufacturing facility in Grünheide, Germany, people have been wondering about the “union issue”. It is well known that Elon Musk is not a friend of trade unions. So far, Tesla has managed to keep unions – especially the hated United Auto Workers – out of its factories in America. But the unions are strong in Germany.
Recently, Daniela Cavallo, the leader of the Co-operation Council – this is what is called “trade union” in Germany – blew up Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess to say that as many as 30,000 workers could lose their jobs if the company does not find a way to compete successfully on. with Tesla. Her statements were enough to force an extraordinary session of the conciliation committee of the Volkswagen Supervisory Board. That meeting was held this week, but the committee has not yet intervened, with an insider telling Reuters things are “on edge” when it comes to deciding whether Diess should stay or go.
Diess, perhaps more than anyone else, has been responsible for pushing the company, which employs nearly 675,000 people worldwide, back from the brink of disaster after it was hit by its diesel fraud scandal in 2015. It is Diess who controlled the switch to electric cars, but opposition from the Cooperation Council could cause him to update his resume on LinkedIn.
According to Autoblog, IG Metall – one of the most powerful unions in German manufacturing – has announced that seven employees have taken the first steps towards setting up a co-operation committee and plans to elect a nomination committee on 29 November.
“A co-operation committee ensures that the interests of the workforce have a voice and a weight. This is in line with the democratic work culture in Germany, ”said Birgit Dietze, head of the IG Metall district in Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony. The Tesla plant near Berlin will employ 12,000 workers, but only about a sixth of them have been hired so far, meaning the election of a co-operation committee will not take place soon, IG Metall said.
IG Metall claims that Tesla wants to pay workers at its new plant in Germany 20% less than what workers at other German car companies earn, and will offset the difference in stock options and bonuses rather than benefits negotiated through collective bargaining. Earlier this year, Musk was ordered to delete a 2018 tweet that threatened U.S. employees would lose their stock options if they formed a union.
Musk has not been pale in criticizing German laws and procedures. In a letter to authorities in April, he argued that the country’s complex planning requirements were at odds with the urgent need to combat climate change. Tesla has experienced setbacks over its factory in Grünheide from environmental organizations concerned about felling trees to make room for the building, and what effect it will have on groundwater in an area that already suffers from occasional shortages of drinking water.
The prevailing attitude in the United States is very anti-union, but is very different in Germany, where trade unions are considered an essential and valuable part of the economy. The indomitable Mister Musk may find that his anti-union animus is less welcome there than it is at home. How it will go is someone’s guess.
Tesla adds Fastned charging stations for navigation in Europe
In EV charging news, the convergence between Tesla’s Supercharging network and European CCS-based charging networks is accelerating. From this weekend, the more than 160 Fastned charging stations in Europe will be listed in Tesla’s navigation right next to Tesla’s own Superchargers. Tesla drivers will be able to see each Fastned location and its power level and navigate to that station with an ability to pre-charge the battery for faster charging.
🚨Good news for all Tesla drivers !! 🚨 Since this weekend, all Fastned stations are included in @Tesla navigation. When selected, this will preheat your battery when it’s cold, significantly increasing your charging speed. We tested it and it works like a charm !! ⚡️⚡️⚡️ pic.twitter.com/EP3Hpjb5TB
– Fastned (@Fastned) November 23, 2021
The fast-charging infrastructure is considered to be one of the best in Europe. The locations are usually along major routes, and the stations offer multiple CCS Combo 2 chargers in a drive-thru layout with a sunshade. The reliability levels reported by the company are also very high. The Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles sold in Europe are equipped with a CCS2-compatible charging socket. Older Model S and Model X vehicles that have an AC Type 2 compliant charging connection will need a CCS2 adapter. Tesla drivers must have a Fastned account to use the Fastned chargers.
Reducing the number of jacks and jacks EV drivers need to enjoy their cars while away from home will give a huge boost to the EV revolution.
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