The US electric car manufacturer Tesla wants to fully restart production in Grünheide near Berlin on Monday after a forced break due to missing parts as a result of the uncertain situation in the Red Sea. According to the company, the production stop did not slow down the ramp-up of the factory.
Tesla suspended production on January 29th due to attacks by the Yemeni Houthi militia on ships in the Red Sea. Because components were missing, the transport routes were shifted. But not everything stood still: Tesla said it continued producing where possible, carried out maintenance and repairs and trained employees.
According to Tesla, all necessary production parts are again sufficiently available. Plant manager André Thierig told the “Tagesspiegel” that he considered the supply chains to be quite robust. A lot is also produced locally. But he doesn't see the company as completely immune to delivery crises.
Dispute over works council elections
IG Metall is trying to initially stop the works council elections in March because of the break. The union believes that equal opportunities for all employees were violated in the election and had submitted an application for an interim injunction to the Frankfurt (Oder) labor court. The electoral board for the works council election rejected allegations in a letter to the workforce, which was available to the German Press Agency.
“We are accused of imposing unnecessary time pressure on the submission of lists of proposals when initiating the election. That is not true,” says the letter from chairman René Seyfert, who speaks for the electoral board. “The time frame for the election is set by law and we are bound by these requirements.” The electoral board denied violating the principles of a fair and democratic election.
Equal opportunities at risk?
The union sees equal opportunities in the nomination of candidates at risk. After the break and return to their jobs, employees would only have until Thursday to create an election proposal, recruit candidates and collect signatures. The works council election is planned for March 18th to 20th. The company has not yet commented on IG Metall's criticism.
It is the second works council election at Tesla in Grünheide. An electoral board takes care of the preparation and implementation of the election. Tesla started production in Grünheide almost two years ago. The car manufacturer stated that the goal for the first expansion phase was to produce 10,000 cars per week with around 12,000 employees. More than 6,000 cars were recently built. According to the company, 12,500 people currently work at Tesla in Brandenburg.