Elon Musk talks up safety, talks down market cap

Cesar Mills
May 19, 2017

One worker, Jonathan Galescu, said he's seen people pass out on the production line and other employees being instructed to work around them while they still lay on the floor, passed out. 'They just send us to work around him while he's still lying on the floor'.

Another worker, Michael Sanchez, said he was excited when he was recruited but ended up with two herniated discs in his neck.

Tesla has plans to ramp production to 500,000 vehicles by the end of 2018, up almost 500% from current production rates.

There's wasn't much upside, however, in how Michael Sanchez, who is on disability leave, described his workweek.

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Richard Ortiz, a production worker, recently lost strength in his arm. "What Tesla has done is to make the shingles blend in with the rooftop", says Barry Cinnamon, founder of Cinnamon Solar, a home solar installation company that is unaffiliated with Tesla.

Factory employees have raised concerns publicly over work conditions since February. Workers pulled 12-hour shifts, sometimes seven days a week.

Following our recent report that Tesla's Gigafactory 1 was issued a new permit for the construction of a $28M "Section G", an updated flyover video shot on May 4 reveals just how quickly the footprint of the plant continues to scale.

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Tesla has not released official compensation data for its workforce, though workers have said overtime is essential to make ends meet. In contrast, a Tesla spokesperson told the magazine that with "more than 10,000 employees, there will always be isolated incidents that we would like to avoid".

Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), admitted in a phone interview with the newspaper that workers had been "having a hard time, working long hours, and on hard jobs".

He also said he cares about their health and their well-being.

Tesla made about 84,000 cars a year ago, equivalent to just 1% of Ford or GM's annual sales. "We're a money losing company".

Musk said we are not "just greedy capitalists who made a decision to skimp on safety in order to have more profits and dividends". Elon Musk said: The deal is "too far out" and Uber would be better if it focuses on its ride-hailing business. And how do we survive?

Another worker at the plant, Richard Ortiz said: 'It's like you died and went to auto-worker heaven, everything feels like the future but us'.

While Tesla was adding the Autopilot driver-assist system, the Uber was working on its own autonomous driving system. The company has already been hard at work creating its first tunnel, which Musk says will run from LAX to Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood, and Sherman Oaks in California.

"This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where nearly anyone could own a Tesla", he wrote at the time.

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