A group of workers at Tesla’s Fremont, California facility sent an open letter to the independent members of Tesla’s Board of Directors on Monday, in which they formally requested access to the electric car company’s safety plan.
In May, an employee provided Tesla’s OSHA 300 logs to WorkSafe, a nonprofit focused on protecting people from job-related hazards. The data showed Tesla had a worse safety record than sawmills and slaughter houses.
Worksafe reported that the injury rate at Tesla's Fremont plant in California was more than thirty percent higher than the industry average in 2014 and 2015.
|"We want to know what the company’s plan is to address this problem"|
“We’re tired of suffering preventable injury after preventable injury,” said Michael Catura, a production associate. “It impacts morale, it slows down production and it’s of course traumatizing and financially difficult for the affected person. We want to know what the company’s plan is to address this problem, and to see whether or not any progress is being made.”
Read the letter in its entirety here.
In an email sent to employees in February, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had called claims of unsafe conditions at the facility “disingenuous or outright false."
However, his tone was much different in an email memo circulated to employees in June.
“No words can express how much I care about your safety and wellbeing,” Musk wrote. “It breaks my heart when someone is injured building cars and trying their best to make Tesla successful.
|"Managers must always put their team's safety above their own"|
“Going forward, I've asked that every injury be reported directly to me, without exception. I'm meeting with the safety team every week and would like to meet every injured person as soon as they are well, so that I can understand from them exactly what we need to do to make it better. I will then go down to the production line and perform the same task that they perform.
“This is what all managers at Tesla should do as a matter of course. At Tesla, we lead from the front line, not from some safe and comfortable ivory tower. Managers must always put their team's safety above their own.”
The workers, who are currently organizing to form a union at the facility, also requested clarity around compensation, pointing out that renting an apartment in Fremont, California (where a Tesla production facility is located) requires 70% of a production worker’s take home pay.
More information is available at: www.FairFutureAtTesla.org.