Tesla has denied reports that it terminated employees who were trying to form a union.

In a statement, the company said that it conducts performance review cycles every six months.

“Employees receive a performance rating from 1 to 5 in each cycle that helps them calibrate their work with the expectations of their job. In the worst case, if an employee fails to meet their performance expectations they will be let go,” said Tesla.

The most recent performance review cycle was from July 2022 through December 2022.

“Approximately 4 percent of the employees on the Autopilot labeling team in Buffalo were exited as a result of this performance review cycle,” the Musk-run company added.

The impacted employees were identified on February 3, “which was well before the union campaign was announced”.

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“We became aware of organizing activities approximately 10 days later. We learned in hindsight that one out of the 27 impacted employees officially identified as part of the union campaign. This exercise pre-dated any union campaign,” Tesla argued.

The company said that the labeling team in Buffalo, New York has been growing over the last several months at an average rate of around 10 employees a week.

“Over the last 6 months, the department’s employee base has grown 54 percent, from 437 employees to 675 employees as of the beginning of this week,” it added.

“The claim that Tesla pressures employees to do so is categorically false,” it added.

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Reports earlier mentioned that Tesla has fired more than 30 employees from its New York Gigafactory, after they planned to unionize, citing a complaint filed with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The complaint alleged that the layoffs came “in retaliation for union activity and to discourage union activity.”

Tesla and Musk have faced several complaints over their anti-union behavior in the past years.