Editorial: California’s counterproductive Tesla threat

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Editorial: California’s counterproductive Tesla threat



September 14, 2017
Updated: September 14, 2017 3:32pm

From a bill to divulge state data to union organizers to an effort to bar nonprofits from any work that could conceivably go to a government employee, it’s been a banner year for California Democrats’ kowtowing to their labor underwriters — which, given their history of doing so, is saying a lot. The latest episode has the Legislature taking a shot across the hood of Tesla.


With the electric-car maker engaged in a bitter dispute with United Auto Workers, which is trying to organize Tesla’s Fremont plant, lawmakers this week added a charged pro-union provision to a spending bill, as the Sacramento Bee reported. The legislation, which distributes the spoils of the state’s newly extended program to control greenhouse gases, requires state labor officials to determine that companies are “fair and responsible in the treatment of their workers” before they can benefit from state-funded clean-car rebates.

Any reasonable person can get behind treating workers fairly, but this is a case of politicians getting behind a union that has given their campaigns nearly $1 million in less than three years — and making a thinly veiled threat against an employer of thousands of Californians who aren’t even represented by that union. This is much less about fair play than brazen pay-to-play.

This commentary is from The Chronicle’s editorial board. We invite you to express your views in a letter to the editor. Please submit your letter via our online form: SFChronicle.com/letters.

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