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UAW could target Tesla's California plant

The UAW has its eye on Tesla Motors.

The United Auto Workers union says it is considering a push to unionize Tesla's production facility in Fremont, California.

The UAW's newfound interest in Tesla was sparked by the automaker's recent announcement that it plans to build 500,000 vehicles annually by 2018. That would make Tesla the United State's ninth largest new car retailer, slotting just behind Volkswagen.

"We're watching that very closely," UAW President Dennis Williams said of the Tesla situation, according to USA Today. "We just believe workers ought to have a voice in the workplace, and they ought to have collective bargaining rights.”

Williams added that the UAW is "not approaching this in an adversarial way.”

Tesla's California plant represents the only U.S. car factory owned by an American-based automaker that isn't represented by the UAW. Foreign-owned car plants in the U.S. aren't typically staffed by the UAW.

Tesla has not publicly talked about the UAW's call to unionize the Fremont plant, but Williams says he has met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. However, Williams didn't specify if unionization was a talking point during his meeting with Musk.

Tesla's Fremont factory will get its next major production spike when it starts building the Model 3 sedan in late 2017.

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