TESLA MOTORS, INC. | Freedom of Association at TESLA MOTORS, INC.

Status
Filed
Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
TSLA
Resolution ask
Adopt or amend a policy
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Decent work
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Shareholder
Company sector
Consumer Discretionary
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
Resolved: Shareholders urge the Board of Directors of Tesla, Inc. shall adopt and disclose a Non-interference Policy (“Policy”) upholding the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining in its operations, as reflected in the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (“Fundamental Principles”). The Policy should contain a commitment to:
● Non-interference when employees seek to form or join a trade union, and a prohibition against acting to undermine this right or pressure employees not to form or join a trade union;
● Good faith and timely collective bargaining if employees form or join a trade union;
● Uphold the highest standard where national or local law differs from international human rights standards; and
● Define processes to identify, prevent, account for, and remedy practices that violate or are inconsistent with the Policy.
Supporting statement
Supporting Statement: Freedom of association and collective bargaining are fundamental human rights protected by international standards including the Fundamental Principles, United Nation’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

According to the International Labour Organization, “Freedom of association refers to the right of workers ... to create and join organizations of their choice freely and without fear of reprisal or interference.”i

In some localities, the guidance outlined in these principles may be more stringent than national law. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights asserts “…where national laws and regulations offer a level of human rights protection that falls short of internationally recognized human rights standards, enterprises should operate to the higher standard.”ii

Tesla’s policies lack clarity on this point. Tesla’s Business Code of Ethics states that “Tesla is committed to upholding and respecting all internationally recognized human rights,” but Tesla’s Global Human Rights Policy undermines this commitment by stating that Tesla respects labor rights “In conformance with local law,” notably leaving out the commitment to any more stringent international standards. Adopting the Policy will clarify to workers and other stakeholders that Tesla will adhere to the higher standard and avoid any real or perceived conclusion otherwise.

Tesla has been accused of interfering with workers’ rights in recent proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (“Labor Board”). As of December 2023, the Labor Board has ruled against Tesla in several cases; others are pending.iii In 2021, the Labor Board upheld a ruling that Tesla illegally fired a worker in retaliation for union organizing, and illegally threatened workers regarding unionization.iv In Sweden, Tesla faces an expanding number of solidarity strikes after refusing to sign a collective agreement with mechanics represented by IF Metall.

Such reports represent material reputational and operational risks to Tesla’s shareholders. Workers’ ability to exercise their labor rights can also have positive outcomes for companies and investors. Unionization has been shown to support an equitable and inclusive workplace, decrease turnover, improve health and safety, boost innovation, and strengthen responsible business conduct.

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
AkademikerPension For

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