Hundreds walk off Tesla job in Nevada labor dispute

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Union organizers say hundreds of construction workers walked off the job at the Tesla Motors manufacturing plant east of Reno to protest the increased hiring of out-of-state workers for less pay.

District 16 trades council spokesman Russell James says approximately 350 plumbers, carpenters, electricians and others walked away from the construction site Monday morning.

More than 100 picketed outside the main gate against what they say is an unfair labor practice that undermines promises to hire mostly Nevada workers in exchange for more than $1 billion in state tax breaks.

James says the work is increasingly being done by crews for the non-union, New Mexico-based Brycon Corp.

Tesla said in a statement it’s in compliance with requirements that Nevadans make up more than half of the workers hired by individual contractors. It said three-fourths of the entire “gigafactory” workforce is from Nevada.

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