According to a media report, Tesla commissioned a PR firm to monitor and evaluate employee communications in a Facebook group. The focus was on critical posts about working conditions and efforts to form a union.
Indications speak for surveillance
As evidence for the allegations are cited, for example, invoices from the named PR firm to Tesla, but also some other documents from which the practice is said to emerge. These apparently indicate that Tesla has indeed made efforts to be able to track employee communications via social media. CNBC also cites in the aforementioned report that the firm it hired did further research on those employees who engaged in unionization.
MWW PR, the PR firm, when asked, said it advised Tesla on employee communications in 2017 and 2018. That advice, it said, came at a time of tremendous company growth and was by no means unusual. Monitoring communications about a company being advised on social media is also a common practice in this context, he said.
Musk rejects unions
Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, has vehemently opposed the formation of unions several times in the past. At the same time, he claimed that at Tesla the involvement of a union is not necessary because of the good working conditions: In the current market situation, qualified personnel can only be attracted and retained with excellent working conditions.