One of the many challenges facing Tesla right now is the escalating worker complaints about pay and safety. At its California factory, a move to unionize is gaining steam. Workers recently sent a letter to Tesla’s independent board members requesting access to the automaker’s safety plan as well as clarity on compensation and a promise of no retaliation against employees as they try to form a union. From a report via Phys.Org: The United Auto Workers is in the process of trying to unionize the 10,000 Tesla workers at the Fremont plant, alleging the company has a poor safety record — a charge it vehemently denies.
“We’re tired of suffering preventable injury after preventable injury. It impacts morale, it slows down production and it’s of course traumatizing,” said Michael Catura, a Tesla production worker who signed the letter. Starting pay for production associates in the Fremont facility is $18 an hour, far below the national average for auto workers of $25.58 and even farther below the living wage in Alameda County, California, where the average wage is $28.10, according to the letter sent by workers. In addition, the letter said the paths to promotion are not clear. “Many of us have worked for years with the vague promise of a raise, with nothing to show for it,” said Richard Ortiz, who works in the paint shop. “We have no idea what the criteria is to move forward, and no idea of what defines success. We’ve raised these issues repeatedly, and have gotten no response,” he added.
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