Workers protest at Tesla gigafactory

Published: Feb. 29, 2016 at 7:31 AM PST
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Local construction workers held a protest Monday, February 29, 2016, at the Tesla gigafactory construction site.

The strike was in protest of Nevada tax breaks that workers claim are being spent to bring workers from New Mexico to work at the gigafactory construction site.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed legislation giving Tesla $1.4 billion in tax incentives to build the gigafactory in Nevada. "This legislation was passed with limited protection for Nevada's construction workers," said Todd Koch, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada. "Nevada's tax dollars should be used to provide jobs for Nevada construction workers not New Mexico construction workers."

A Tesla spokesperson says, "Today's activity stems from the local Carpenters Union protesting against one of the third party construction contractors that Tesla is using at the Gigafactory. Their issue is not with how Tesla treats its workers. Their issue is that of the many third party contractors that are involved in the construction of the Gigafactory, many are union but the one at issue is not. The union is also claiming that this contractor is somehow favoring out of state workers. In reality, more than 50% of the workers used by this contractor and more than 75% of the entire Gigafactory workforce are Nevada residents, demonstrating the project’s strong commitment to Nevada."