The National Labor Relations Board recently came down heavily against Tesla Inc and asked the electric vehicle-maker to reinstate a union activist while also asking it to make CEO Elon Musk delete a threatening tweet he had fired from his official social media account.
According to Bloomberg, the ruling from the agency was made by a Democratic and two Republican members who ruled that Tesla has broken the labor law by firing the union activist. The labor law in the country permits companies to outline negative predictions if workers unionize but forbids any threat or coercion against employees who may be found doing so.
As per The Washington Post, the board also found Tesla guilty of illegally interrogating its workers over suspicions they were forming unions and threatened them in a number of ways of they unionized. Tesla's policy of forbidding employees from speaking to members of the press is also under enormous scrutiny.
The National Labor Relations Board, however, has no legal authority to impose punitive damages but its rulings can be appealed to federal court.
Tesla, on its part, has not only defended itself by stating that it has done no wrong but also defended Musk and his tweet by referring to the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. "Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union. Could do so tmrw if they wanted. But why pay union dues and give up stock options for nothing?" Musk had previously tweeted and it is this message that the labor board now wants deleted.
At the time of filing this report, Tesla had not officially commented on the board's ruling. The particular tweet from Musk which is in question was also still on his account.