Tesla has released a statement in regards to the recently published article that it paid foreign workers $5 an hour to expand its factory.
The original story was published by Mercury News, alleging that Tesla paid the equivalent of $5 an hour to foreign workers to construct a new, high-volume paint shop. The American automaker has given its side of the story, saying that it had hired Eisenmann to construct the paint shop because it doesn’t know how to build paint shops and Eisenmann is “regarded as one of the best, if not the best, in the world.”
Eisenmann then hired sub-contractor ISM Vuzem for the work, which is the company that hired Gregor Lesnik. The original article published by Mercury News describes the work conditions and how Lesnik was injured on the job. As a result and assuming the article is accurate, Tesla wants “to do right by Mr. Lesnik and his colleagues from Vuzem.”
Tesla mentioned that it had done everything legally, since it hired a contractor to do a turnkey project at its factory, and made Eisenmann contractually obligated to comply with all laws in bringing in the resources Eisenmann felt were needed to do the job. The company also shared that in regards to the accident that occurred with Lesnik, Cal/OSHA investigated the incident and found that Tesla was not responsible.
Now, Tesla feels morally obligated to give Lesnik the benefit of the doubt and will take care of him. The company also said that if Lesnik and his colleagues were really being paid $5 an hour, that it is totally unacceptable. The automaker will investigate with Eisenmann and Vuzem and if the claims are true, Tesla will take action to ensure “that the right thing happens and all are treated fairly.”
Update: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has tweeted a copy of a document saying that Eisenmann agreed to an hourly rate of $55 as a base “for additional services” and that rate gave ISM Vuzem full opportunity to pay its workers appropriately.
Merc News story about Tesla using $5/hr labor seems to be missing a digit. Tesla actually paid $55/hr. pic.twitter.com/2dTH0ncdKX
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2016
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