SpaceX Employees Revolt Against CEO Elon Musk's Tweets!


SpaceX Employees Revolt Against CEO Elon Musk's Tweets!
© Getty Images/Michael M. Santiago

SpaceX has filed a motion in federal court challenging the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), claiming the structure of the NLRB itself is unconstitutional. This action comes as a response to a consolidated complaint filed by the NLRB against SpaceX, which also included an order for an administrative hearing scheduled for March.

The NLRB's complaint, filed on Wednesday, followed allegations by nine former SpaceX employees. They claim they were unjustly dismissed by the aerospace manufacturer after penning a letter to management, urging them to publicly denounce CEO Elon Musk's behavior on social media, which they described as "harmful." SpaceX's lawsuit, filed on Thursday, argues that the NLRB's directive to hold a hearing on these complaints is unlawful.

The company contends that the proceeding and the structure of the NLRB violate Article II of the United States Constitution and the Fifth and Seventh Amendments. The NLRB, when approached for comment, chose not to respond directly, instead referring to the complaint itself.

The Complaints and the 'No Jerks' Policy

The saga began in November 2022, when eight former employees filed complaints with the NLRB, alleging SpaceX wrongfully terminated them. Their grievance was linked to a letter they had written to company management, asking for a public condemnation of Musk’s conduct on social media.

A ninth employee joined the complaint in December 2023. The June letter specifically called out Musk’s "inappropriate, disparaging comments on Twitter." These actions, the employees argued, fostered a hostile work environment, contravening SpaceX’s own "No Asshole" policy.

SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell had famously elaborated on this policy in a 2021 commencement speech, describing how "jerks" hinder productive and respectful work environments. Shotwell emphasized the importance of embracing diverse ideas and fostering a collaborative atmosphere, free from hostility.

This legal battle pits a major private space exploration company against a key federal labor agency, with significant implications for labor rights and corporate governance in the United States. The outcome of this case could have far-reaching effects on how employee grievances are addressed and how federal agencies oversee labor practices in the private sector.

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