Elon Musk, a target for destruction
by Joe Biden
The Biden administration’s continuing legal harassment of SpaceX and Elon Musk was escalated yesterday when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a new complaint against the company, accusing it of firing eight employees illegally for writing a public letter criticizing the company in 2022.
The letter, circulated in 2022, criticized Musk’s actions and the allegations of sexual harassment against him, claiming they were negatively contributing to the company’s reputation. The letter also said the company was failing to live up to its “No Asshole” policy and its policy against sexual harassment.
The letter, whose authorship was not known at the time it was first reported, called on SpaceX to “publicly address and condemn Elon’s harmful Twitter behavior,” to “hold all leadership equally accountable” for bad behavior, and to “clearly define what exactly is intended by SpaceX’s ‘no-asshole’ and ‘zero tolerance’ policies and enforce them consistently.”
According to the NLRB, one SpaceX employer held interviews to determine the writers of the letter, after which they were fired. The case will go before the NLRB in March.
Is this another case of blacklisting, similar to the numerous stories I’ve reported for the last four years where someone was fired for having political opinions? I don’t think so, though some could argue otherwise. In those many other cases, the opinions expressed were generally political in nature and unrelated to the work environment itself. If a company is demanding you bow to critical race theory and admit you are racist simply because you are white and fires you when you refuse, that is not the same as writing a letter accusing your employer of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment, and then soliciting signatures from the entire workforce before releasing it publicly. The first case is a direct slander against the employee and is an unreasonable demand. The second is a concerted effort to foster a workplace mutiny, something unacceptable to all employers. It seems the company would have the right to remove such malcontents from its place of business.
Gywnne Shotwell, SpaceX’s CEO, made these facts very clear at the time the letter was published.
You may have received an unsolicited request from a small group of SpaceX employees for your signature on an “open letter” yesterday and your participation in a related survey. Based on diverse employee feedback, this has upset many. That is, the letter, solicitations and general process made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, and/or angry because the letter pressured them to sign onto something that did not reflect their views. Employees also complained that it interfered with their ability to focus on and do their work. … We have too much critical work to accomplish and no need for this kind of overreaching activism — our current leadership team is more dedicated to ensuring we have a great and ever-improving work environment than any I have seen in my 35-year career.
We solicit and expect our employees to report all concerns to their leadership, senior management, HR, or Legal. But blanketing thousands of people across the company with repeated unsolicited emails and asking them to sign letters and fill out unsponsored surveys during the work day is not acceptable, goes against our documented handbook policy, and does not show the strong judgement needed to work in this very challenging space transportation sector. We performed an investigation and have terminated a number of employees involved.
In its case against SpaceX the NLRB is seeking reinstatement of the employees and full back pay. If SpaceX loses and is forced to rehire these malcontents, I can’t imagine how they can possibly contribute anything positive to the company.
The NLRB’s effort here therefore suggests it is simply joining the Biden administration’s war on Musk, which previously involved legal actions or regulatory intransigence from seven different government agencies in eight different cases. The NLRB now makes that eight different agencies and nine different cases.
Nor is this the first time the NLRB under Joe Biden has gone after someone for political reasons. In April 2022 the NLRB sued the conservative news outlet The Federalist because its publisher made a joke on Twitter. It quickly lost that case, because the accusation was absurd. In the interim however it succeeded in harassing a political opponent of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.
The NLRB is now attempting to do the same to SpaceX.
As I have previously noted, Elon Musk is possibly the most successful American businessman in decades, creating new companies and wealth that has provided jobs to hundreds of thousands while revitalizing the economies of whole cities. Politicians like Joe Biden should be celebrating his achievements. Instead, Biden and his ilk in government hate Musk precisely because of that success, and want to destroy him, even if it means putting hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work. He threatens their power, and that is their biggest concern. They don’t care one iota for America and its citizens.
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