Tesla can ban union shirts from its factory, judge rules

A federal judge ruled this week that Tesla can bar union T-shirts from its factory floor, reversing a National Labor Relations Board decision.

The New Orleans 5th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday that Tesla’s uniform policy was legal because the carmaker let workers wear union paraphernalia, such as stickers.

The company’s uniform policy requires all workers to wear Tesla-branded T-shirts. That started in 2017 during an aggressive unionization campaign helped by the United Auto Workers.

In response to the T-shirt policy, the NLRB ruled that any attempt to ban union insignias without a special reason was illegal.

This week’s court decision overrides that ruling and hands anti-union Tesla a significant victory as UAW reaffirms its intentions to organize Tesla workers.

After securing historic contracts with the big three Detroit automakers, UAW President Shawn Fain announced that the union will launch a coordinated effort to organize nonunion automakers, including Tesla.

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