Tesla to raise Nevada Gigafactory workers' pay amid union push: report

Tesla is reportedly raising the wages of factory workers at its Nevada Gigafactory that manufactures batteries for EVs

Electric vehicle maker Tesla is planning to give hourly workers at its Nevada Gigafactory a roughly 10% raise in January, according to a report from CNBC.

According to internal documents reviewed by the outlet, Tesla will raise the pay for hourly workers from $20 to $22 an hour on the low end of the pay scale and up to $34.50 an hour from $30.65 on the high end. 

The CNBC report added that the raise can add anywhere from $2 to $8.30 an hour to the hourly workers’ pay, while Tesla is also streamlining its employment levels so that workers currently making between $26.20 and $30.65 an hour will be paid $34.50 an hour after the raise takes effect.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


A Tesla logo on a charger

Tesla is reportedly providing raises to its hourly workers at the Nevada Gigafactory. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images / Getty Images)

The report about Tesla providing raises to workers at its Gigafactory in Nevada, which is located near Reno and manufactures batteries for Tesla EVs, comes as the company faces a unionization push from the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

Fresh off securing record contracts from Detroit’s "Big Three" automakers — Ford, GM and Stellantis — the UAW views Tesla and other non-union automakers like Honda and Toyota as targets for potential unionization efforts.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA INC. 162.13 +17.45 +12.06%
F FORD MOTOR CO. 13.05 +0.10 +0.81%
GM GENERAL MOTORS CO. 45.08 -0.02 -0.04%
STLA STELLANTIS NV 24.88 -0.08 -0.32%

After those contracts were secured and a six-week strike this fall was brought to a conclusion, UAW President Shawn Fain signaled the union would "pull out all the stops" to organize workers at Tesla, Toyota, Honda and other non-union automakers. 


Elon Musk speaks at a tech fair

Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that if the EV maker ends up unionized "it'll be because we deserve it and failed in some way." (Nathan Laine/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Subaru raised workers’ wages following the UAW’s deal with the Big Three, which prompted Fain to say that Toyota had previously hiked wages "because the company knows we’re coming for ‘em."

"To all the auto workers out there working without the benefits of a union, now it’s your turn," Fain said in a video message posted late last month. "The money is there. The time is right. You don’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay your rent or feed your family while the company makes billions. A better life is out there."

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was asked about the UAW’s unionization push last month at the New York Times DealBook Summit and said, "I disagree with the idea of unions." He added that if Tesla is eventually unionized "it’ll be because we deserve it and failed in some way."


UAW President Shawn Fain speaks at a rallly

UAW President Shawn Fain has set his sights on unionization pushes at non-union automakers such as Tesla. (Jim Vondruska/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Musk has previously pointed to the company’s stock options provided to workers as a lucrative benefit that could dissuade workers from unionizing. Musk posted on X, formerly, before the UAW strike began to tout Tesla’s work environment and the income potential provided by those stock options.

"Tesla and SpaceX factories have a great vibe. We encourage playing music and having some fun. Very important for people to look forward to coming to work! We pay more than the UAW btw, but performance expectations are also higher. Quite a few of our factory techs who work on the line have become millionaires over the years from company stock grants," Musk wrote.

The UAW previously attempted to unionize Tesla’s workforce in 2017 and 2018 during a period of labor unrest at the company’s factory in California. During that standoff, Musk wrote in a social media post, "Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union. Could do so tmrw if they wanted. But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing?"


Though that unionization effort proved unsuccessful, it set off a legal battle in which the National Labor Relations Board held that Musk violated labor law in part through statements about hourly workers losing stock options if they unionized, which an appellate court panel believed was an "implied threat to end stock options as retaliation for unionization." 

Tesla has appealed that ruling and has disputed any wrongdoing, and the case is under review by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Reuters contributed to this report.