Tesla accused of threatening to fire employees who don't return to work

Reports suggest that the Tesla plant in Fremont often sees packed assembly lines with no social distancing measures in place.Tesla is trying to ramp u
File photo - A Tesla Model S electric vehicle drives along a row of occupied superchargers at Tesla's primary vehicle factory in Fremont, California. (REUTERS)
File photo - A Tesla Model S electric vehicle drives along a row of occupied superchargers at Tesla's primary vehicle factory in Fremont, California.

Several workers of Tesla recently accused the California-based company of issuing threats of firing if they did not report back to work despite concerns over their health safety amid Covid-19 pandemic. While the production facility in Fremont was reopened after nearly two weeks of shutdown, some of the workers highlighted safety concerns and opted to steer clear.

Tesla had previously stated that those who wish to remain at home due to health safety concerns can take unpaid leave till May 31. Concerns over safety protocols in place at the factory have, however, meant that many chose to take this option and some now claim that they are being threatened to return. "There are people we are paying to keep us safe, and they’re just turning the other cheek. They should be holding Elon Musk accountable," Carlos Gabriel, a worker at the plant, was quoted as saying by Associated Press.

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Also Read : Tesla paying Elon Musk almost $1 million to temporarily insure board

Tesla CEO Musk is under pressure and this is clear from a number of factors. Model Y crossover SUV production may have suffered roadblocks and he has written to employees to go 'all out' to ramp it up and minimise rectification needs. He was also engaged in a bitter battle to get the plant reopened when the temporary work suspension was put into place as it was considered 'non-essential business'. Musk would eventually get his way against health department officials of Alameda County and the plant reopened on May 11.

Also Read : Tesla may cut salaries by 30%

Even then, not all workers deemed it was the right time to return to the assembly lines which can often be closely packed. There have been reports that many inside don't wear masks or often skip social distancing protocols. Tesla, however, maintains that strict measures are in place to ensure safety of all. On the issue of reportedly threatening workers who are yet to return, the company has not responded officially at the time of filing this report.

First Published Date: 02 Jul 2020, 08:38 AM IST

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