By The Financial District
Anti-Labor Elon Musk Wants To Weaponize Twitter vs Biden
For years, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, who recently became the richest man in the world, has positioned himself as something of an ideological enigma.
Photo Insert: The NLRB found last year that Musk threatened to strip workers of their pay and benefits, ordering the CEO to rehire an employee who was illegally fired for leading a union effort.
Online and in the media, the eccentric and outspoken billionaire has at various points in his life called himself a "socialist," a "registered independent," a "moderate," and a "fiscal conservative," Jan Skolnik reported for Salon.
This week, as Musk angles to acquire Twitter, a financial undertaking that has sounded alarms among liberals and free speech advocates, the tech billionaire sought to put an end to all the speculation, unveiling himself as, lo and behold, a Republican.
Musk's political unmasking could prove incredibly consequential in the coming election cycle. For one, the billionaire's conservative leanings might portend a significant rollback of Twitter's content moderation policies.
If Twitter ends up with Musk, he would use it to attack US President Joe Biden for failing to mention Tesla as the world’s leading electric car producer and for supporting unions.
And, while Musk is now well-known for sensationalistic ribble-rabble, his anti-union rhetoric is not just bluster. Up until 2021, the tech billionaire had been under a three-year federal investigation by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over possible union-busting at Tesla.
The agency ultimately found last year that Musk threatened to strip workers of their pay and benefits, ordering the CEO to rehire an employee who was illegally fired for leading a union effort.
The NLRB has also filed a complaint against Musk over the company's alleged surveillance and intimidation of workers attempting to join a union. "Anything union or pro-union is shut down really fast," one Tesla employee told The Guardian back in 2018.
"Pro-union people are generally fired for made-up reasons," said another. "We are told Tesla would go bankrupt if we unionize because we are not a profitable company yet."
As of this writing, it remains unclear whether Musk's acquisition of Twitter will come to pass. This week, the executive said that there would be no deal until the site can prove that fewer than 5% of its user base is made up of bots.
To make matters more complicated, on Thursday, the billionaire was freshly accused of sexual misconduct by one of his former flight attendants, who alleged that the tech magnate exposed himself to her, rubbed her leg without consent, offered to buy her a horse in exchange for sex acts and had Tesla arrange a $250,000 settlement to keep her silence over the incident, according to Business Insider.
WEEKLY FEATURE : MVP Group Keeps Lights On During Pandemic