Skip to content
Today’s Stock Market and Business News: Live Updates

 |  Latest News Headlines

Today’s Stock Market and Business News: Live Updates

| Latest News Headlines | Yahoo news

Credit…Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

BERLIN — Employees at Tesla’s new assembly plant outside Berlin will elect a works council next month, the latest indication that the plant may soon start operating after months of setbacks and delays.

Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla, had hoped the facility, the company’s first assembly plant in Europe, would be completed by the end of last year. But German red tape, combined with a wave of lawsuits from local environmental groups, pushed the opening back by months.

Birgit Dietze, the regional leader of the IG Metall union, which represents autoworkers in Germany, said on Thursday that a vote for 19 representatives to sit on the works council was scheduled for February 28.

Works councils, committees that represent employees to help set factory policies, are the norm in German companies. Although trade union members can sit on the councils, the bodies are not organized by or directly affiliated with the trade unions.

Members of the Brandenburg state government, who have yet to grant final approval for the $7 billion plant, said earlier this month that all necessary documents had been received by the end of December. and that the process was in its final phase. They also said that settling an ongoing lawsuit over water use would not affect the schedule.

“We are on what we hope will be the final steps with regard to the whole issue of permits for the factory,” said Jörg Steinbach, Brandenburg’s economy minister, last week. But he declined to speculate on exactly when the factory would receive final approval to begin production.

IG Metall said it was concerned that the works council vote had been scheduled even though only around one in six of the estimated 12,000 people expected to work at the plant have been hired so far. Most companies hire executives and engineers first, before filling the lower ranks of blue-collar workers, who will make up the majority of workers, Ms Dietze said. This raises the possibility that a works council vote in February will not represent the workforce when full production begins.

“With a works council, the workforce has a voice and can assert its interests,” Ms Dietze said on Thursday. “To play this role, however, it is essential that a works council truly represents the workforce and this is where it is important to look closely at Tesla.

Although Tesla has opposed unions at its factories in the United States, Germany has a strong tradition of unionization, and IG Metall recently opened an office near the factory and answered questions from workers and job applicants. a job. Ms Dietze declined to say how many union members were already working at the facility or whether they were among the candidates for positions on the works council.

In Germany, individual workers join unions and, if there are enough of them, use their influence to get employers to agree to a union contract, which is negotiated between workers and management for entire industries.

The plant, where Tesla plans to eventually produce 500,000 Model Y sport utility vehicles a year, has started producing cars, but they are prototypes that cannot be sold. Pending approval of the final stages, authorities in Brandenburg have granted the company the right to produce 2,000 more prototypes of its Model Y cars, after Tesla said its first series of 250 electric vehicles had leaked. in production that required additional fines. setting.

Still, speculation in Germany about a possible opening date has been fueled by reports of the prototype vehicle, government officials’ optimism that final approval is approaching and news from Mr Musk that he will would go to Germany.

Earlier this week, Mr. Musk told his supporters on social networks that he would go to Berlin in “mid-February”.


An earlier version of this article misrepresented the cost of a Tesla factory being built outside of Berlin. It’s $7 billion, not $7 million.

Today’s Stock Market and Business News: Live Updates

| Business Top Stories Today Headlines
nytimes Gt

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.