July 15, 2024
Tesla workers: Factory death led to bonus cuts

Tesla factory workers in Shanghai criticized the automaker and CEO Elon Musk over cuts to their performance bonuses that some believe are linked to a fatal accident at the plant.

The situation marks a rare outburst of discontent at Tesla’s Shanghai plant, whose workers Musk praised last year for burning “the 3 a.m. oil” to keep operations running during the city’s two-month COVID-19 lockdown.

Musk said in a tweet that he was looking into the matter.

The posts began appearing on forums such as Baidu Tieba. Some took to Twitter, owned by Musk and blocked in China, to tweet to the billionaire; his mother, Maye Musk; and Tesla.

Two workers at the plant, where Tesla employs around 20,000, told Reuters they were informed by their supervisors about a cut to their quarterly bonus payout, which is linked to the factory’s performance. The workers said Tesla supervisors mentioned a “safety incident” when asked about reasons for the bonus cut.

Several online posts claimed workers at the Shanghai plant were being unfairly penalized for an incident at the factory in February where one worker died.

According to a report published by the local Pudong government April 12, there was a mechanical accident in the welding workshop at Tesla’s Shanghai plant Feb. 4 that killed one worker.

The local government’s investigation concluded an oversight in Tesla’s safety management indirectly contributed to the accident and said the deceased worker was directly responsible.

Musk’s mother is a model who has attracted a following in China. She recently completed a two-week tour in the country during which she visited the Shanghai factory and promoted her memoir.

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