Tesla Stays Silent As Factory Infections Rise
Tesla still hasn't gotten its act together.
Tesla has suffered from constant worker's rights and safety complaints for years. They've engaged in more union-busting and other worker rights and safety issues than any other car company, including not posting required safety signs because Elon Musk doesn't like the color yellow. Now, after Musk essentially forced the state of California to allow his factory to reopen, Tesla is dealing with a surge of COVID cases so bad that they refuse to release statistics, and has been caught terminating employees for taking sick leave, which they promised not to do.
Two Tesla factory employees, Jessica Naro and Carlos Gabriel, claim to have received termination notices after taking unpaid sick leave in an effort to avoid the coronavirus. Both employees were contacted by Tesla Human Resources, which terminated them after they refused to specify a date they planned to return to work.
In an email to Tesla employees in May, Musk stated "If you feel uncomfortable coming back to work at this time, please do not feel obligated to do so." and an HR executive later said "If you are sick or have concerns with safely coming to work, please stay home. You may use your available PTO or if you have none, may take the time as unpaid without penalty. We respect your decision."
With practices like this, it's no wonder that Tesla has seen major COVID spikes since it's factory re-opened, especially considering their facilities are generally too cramped, including even assembling cars outside in tents.
Tesla workers assembling cars in an outdoor tent.
With over 10,000 employees, it seems reasonable to ask how many have contracted the disease, yet both Alameda county and the head of Tesla's health and safety department refuse to report how many employees are infected, with Tesla claiming that while "some of its employees" had contracted COVID-19, they had "zero COVID-19 workplace transmissions."
What do you think? Is Tesla just trying to cover its butt, or is it one of the bravest auto companies in the world?