“We can beat anybody,” Fain said in an interview on Thursday with Bloomberg News. “It’s gonna come down to the people that work for him deciding if they want their fair share… or if they want him to fly himself to outer space at their expense,” he said. “I believe it’s doable.”
Fain said he’s already seeing non-union plants and workers in the US react to the contract and is ready to go after them.
The UAW has before tried to organize the electric-car leader and others. Fain says these efforts failed because of the union’s corruption, coziness with bosses and bad contracts.
Fain’s predecessors Bob King and Dennis Williams both met with Musk. In 2020, Williams pleaded guilty to embezzlement and racketeering.
The union leader says he sees no reason to get face time with the Tesla CEO. “I don’t know what that would serve,” said Fain. “Maybe we’ll meet at the bargaining table, once we’ve organized.”
Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Fain expects non-union companies will try to keep the UAW out by raising pay, like Toyota Motor Corp. did this week. The Japanese auto giant this week announced plans to increase the highest wage for most assembly line workers in the US by 9.2%.
That won’t work, Fain says. “Hopefully we get down there, we organize them and they become UAW members — and they can realize the full power of membership and get an even better contract,” he said.
UAW workers get 11% raises as soon as the new contracts are ratified. Over the life of the contract, the automakers agreed to give a 25% wage increase and a restoration in cost-of-living allowance, which takes top pay up 33% over that time, as well as giving new workers a faster progression to the top wage of $42 an hour.
This story originally Appeared on Fortune