Fremont, CA — Billionaire Tesla and SpaceX leader Elon Musk defended himself on Thursday after what he excused as a “toilet impulse tweet,” claiming that labor unions are hate speech. It soon shot up the trending list and sent Tesla stock down by over 14%.

“It’s important for people to understand that sometimes I say things on Twitter that are vastly taken out of context,” said the billionaire responding to a request for comment. Obviously, not all labor unions are hate speech. But some of them are.”

Tesla is the only United States automaker with workers not represented by a union. The United Auto Workers, a union representing auto workers in the auto, aerospace, and agricultural implement industries, said it has tried several times to unionize Tesla workers but has met extreme resistance from the automaker’s management.

According to the German IG Metall union, Tesla was offering employees at the new Giga Berlin facility wages twenty percent below the collective agreement standards provided at other auto facilities in Germany. As a result, in November of 2021, 7 non-union employees of Tesla’s Giga Berlin factory initiated a “Works Council proceeding.”

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