A man claiming to be a Tesla employee has called the company out on alleged poor working conditions at its Fremont, Calif. plant.
Jose Moran, who says he works at the plant, wrote of “excessive mandatory overtime,” below average pay and an unsafe work environment leading to frequent injuries in a Medium blog post entitled: ‘Time for Tesla to Listen.‘
“Most of my 5,000-plus coworkers work well over 40 hours a week, including excessive mandatory overtime. The hard, manual labor we put in to make Tesla successful is done at great risk to our bodies,” Moran wrote.
“Preventable injuries happen often. In addition to long working hours, machinery is often not ergonomically compatible with our bodies. There is too much twisting and turning and extra physical movement to do jobs that could be simplified if workers’ input were welcomed. Add a shortage of manpower and a constant push to work faster to meet production goals, and injuries are bound to happen.”
Tesla, Moran said, has one of the lowest wages in the automotive industry, with production workers making between $17 and $21 hourly. The average U.S. auto worker, he said, makes $25.58 an hour. Moran also said he averages 60 to 70 hours a week.
Moran said “better organization” is needed at the plant, adding the he and his co-workers believe that can only be achieved by forming a union. The group, Moran, said has asked the United Auto Workers for support.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, in messages with tech publication Gizmodo, refuted Moran’s claims and accused him of being a UAW plant.
“Our understanding is that this guy was paid by the UAW to join Tesla and agitate for a union. He doesn’t really work for us, he works for the UAW,” Musk told Gizmodo.
He described the accusations in the blog post as “morally outrageous,” adding that Tesla “is the last car company left in California, because costs are so high. The UAW killed NUMMI and abandoned the workers at our Fremont plant in 2010. They have no leg to stand on.”
Musk admitted there is sometimes mandatory overtime, but said it only occurs when the company is trying to make up for a production stoppage. He also said his company offers a higher starting pay than that received by many of those who are part of the UAW union, adding “total compensation is higher for a given level of seniority when factoring in stock grants.” He did not give details on the stocks.
Musk referred to Tesla as “union neutral.”
It has not been confirmed if Jose Moran actually works at Tesla’s Fremont plant.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.
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