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Elon Musk calls out the UAW for embezzling money from its workers

Elon Musk giving YouTube tech reviewer Marques Brownlee a tour of the Fremont factory. (Credit: MKBHD/YouTube)

Elon Musk took a jab at the UAW today after a report showed an ex-official of the automotive workers union pled guilty to embezzling $2.2 million from its workers.

Musk has admonished the UAW for years, but the most recent criticism has come from Tesla’s lack of recognition from President Joe Biden, who has given unionized companies like GM the nod of being “the leader in electrification.” Musk, who has been Tesla’s CEO since 2008, commented the UAW’s slogan is “Fighting for the right to embezzle money from auto workers!” in a Tweet. “The UAW stole millions from workers, whereas Tesla has made many workers millionaires (via stock grants). Subtle, but important difference,” Musk added.

Previously, Musk criticized the UAW as far back as May 2018. Musk said Tesla has held a better record of employee treatment compared to the UAW. “Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union. Could do so tmrw if they wanted. But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing? Our safety record is 2X better than when plant was UAW & everybody already gets healthcare,” the CEO said in 2018.

More recently, Musk invited the UAW to hold a vote “at their convenience” at Tesla’s Fremont factory in Northern California. “Tesla will do nothing to stop them,” Musk said, after describing the Bay Area’s negative employment, which would invite employees to work elsewhere if they weren’t compensated well. “…if we don’t treat and compensate our (awesome) people well, they have many other offers and will just leave!”

Musk’s most recent criticism comes at the hands of UAW Local 412, which represents about 2,600 employees for Stellantis in the Detroit area.

Timothy Edmunds, a former secretary-treasurer of UAW Local 412, pleaded guilty on Friday to one count each of embezzling union funds and money laundering. Edmunds “systematically drained” the Local’s bank accounts, which came to about $2.2 million. He used the labor group’s credit card for personal purchases, including cashing local checks and transferring money into personal accounts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Edmunds also bought guns, cars, and gambled, and used the funds to pay child support, a report from Reuters (via AutoBlog) said. The union found Edmunds’ spending habits and improper expenditures and turned the findings over to federal authorities.

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Elon Musk calls out the UAW for embezzling money from its workers
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