That’s according to Jose Moran, a former Tesla worker, who addressed the court on the fifth day of the National Labor Relations Board trial against the automaker. As Bloomberg reports, Moran told the court that Musk told him that the United Auto Workers union leaves workers voiceless. Moran says Musk made the comments when he and a coworker had a meeting with the Tesla CEO about unionizing in the face of safety concerns at the company.
Moran says Musk told the pair, “you don’t really have a voice” and “the UAW is the only one that has a voice, and not the workers.” Tesla’s then-human resources head Gaby Toledano was also reportedly at the meeting and told Moran “that the majority of the workers at Tesla don’t want a union, and why do we want to pay union dues?”
Moran says he replied that he and his fellow Tesla workers had the right to unionize and that in doing so they were trying to improve Tesla and its safety. That’s when Musk and Toledano, according to Moran, suggested he could start taking part in safety committee meetings and, if after that his concerns weren’t addressed, Musk “said, ‘If these safety committee meetings don’t work out, then we’ll give you your union.'”
This week’s court hearing is a continuation of the one opened in June where the NLRB is accusing Tesla management of violating federal laws by trying to stop employees from discussing safety issues and restricting employees from organizing activities. Tesla is expected to launch its defense in court today.