Labor union letter asks Travis Co. Commissioners to reconsider new Tesla factory in Austin

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FILE – In this March 14, 2019, file photo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne, Calif. Musk is going on trial for his troublesome tweets in a case pitting the billionaire against a British diver he allegedly dubbed a pedophile. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Leaders from the United Auto Workers and the President of the Texas AFL-CIO labor union, Rick Levy, wrote a letter Monday to the Travis County Commissioners asking local leaders to pump the brakes on considering a new Tesla plant in Travis County.

Austin is believed to be in the running with several other cities to be the site of Tesla’s next Gigafactory, according to national reports from May. Several times over the last year, CEO Elon Musk has alluded to moving some sort of the company’s operations to Texas.

The letter says UAW is asking Travis County Commissioners to “review the ramifications of public subsidies for a new Tesla plant.”

UAW alleges Tesla relies heavily on taxpayer subsidies, but falls short on delivering on its commitments. The letter cites examples from Nevada, New York and California to support its case. 

Tesla’s new factory is not currently an item on the Travis County Commissioners agenda, but it could be discussed in executive session, which is closed. A final agreement would have to happen in open court.

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