Reprinted from The Sacramento Bee by Jim Miller on September 12, 2017.
Democratic lawmakers are siding with organized labor in its battle with automaker Tesla, inserting a provision in a last-minute bill to spend $1.5 billion in cap-and-trade money.
The package largely spends funds on a variety of anti-pollution programs, such as those to retrofit and replace smog-belching big rigs and buses.
But the legislation, amended late Monday to be ready for votes before lawmakers adjourn for the year on Friday, also would inject the state into an increasingly acrimonious union organizing campaign at automaker Tesla’s Fremont plant. Companies that want to be eligible for the state’s zero-emission vehicle rebate program – a major driver of Tesla sales – would need to be certified by the state labor secretary “as fair and responsible in the treatment of their workers.” …