TESLA CAUGHT IN MORE LIES AS TESLA HIDES FACTORY AND DRIVER DEATHS AND INJURIES

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TESLA CAUGHT IN MORE LIES AS TESLA HIDES FACTORY AND DRIVER DEATHS AND INJURIES

 

 

  • A new report from Reveal claims that Tesla has underreported workplace injuries and claims the Fremont factory is less safe than the company has said.
  • The report also claims that Tesla has avoided using some warning signs and markings for aesthetic reasons and failed to properly train employees for dangerous work.


In February, Tesla highlighted its efforts to improve worker safety at the Fremont, California, factory where it builds its vehicles. Laurie Shelby — Tesla's vice president of environmental, health, and safety — wrote that the company's total recordable incident rate (TRIR), had fallen 25% since 2016 and was aligned with the industry average. Shelby also outlined the steps the company had taken in an effort to better manage and prevent workplace injuries.

But a new report from Reveal alleges that the company has underreported workplace injuries at the Fremont factory and that working conditions at the facility are not as safe as Tesla has claimed. Reveal reportedly spoke with over three dozen current and former Tesla employees and reviewed hundreds of pages of documents, including internal records and correspondence related to injury reporting.

Here's an overview of the report's claims. You can read the full report on Reveal here.

  • Tesla reportedly misreported injury rates at its Fremont factory, either failing to report injuries employees incurred while at work or mislabeling them as personal or minor injuries so they didn't count against the company's public workplace injury statistics.
  • Tesla didn't mark some hazard areas at Fremont in yellow because Musk reportedly doesn't like the color and avoided other safety signs and markings for aesthetic reasons, the report claims.
  • The rate of serious injuries, which means they require employees to miss work or work with restrictions, among Tesla employees was reportedly 30% worse than the industry average in 2017.
  • Some Fremont employees received insufficient training for dangerous work, the report claims.
  • At least one employee warned superiors — including Elon Musk's office — about potential safety hazards, but those warnings were reportedly either ignored or not addressed.

On Monday, Tesla responded to the report in a blog post, calling it "a completely false picture of Tesla and what it is actually like to work here," and claimed it was "an ideologically motivated attack by an extremist organization working directly with union supporters to create a calculated disinformation campaign against Tesla."

Tesla says its factory is safer. But it left injuries off the books

By  and  / April 16, 2018

Inside Tesla’s electric car factory, giant red robots – some named for X-Men characters – heave car parts in the air, while workers wearing black toil on aluminum car bodies. Forklifts and tuggers zip by on gray-painted floors, differentiated from pedestrian walkways by another shade of gray.

There’s one color, though, that some of Tesla’s former safety experts wanted to see more of: yellow – the traditional hue of caution used to mark hazards.

Concerned about bone-crunching collisions and the lack of clearly marked pedestrian lanes at the Fremont, California, plant, the general assembly line’s then-lead safety professional went to her boss, who she said told her, “Elon does not like the color yellow.”

Robots work on Model S cars in Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif., in 2015. One color that some of Tesla’s former safety experts wanted to see more of is yellow, the traditional hue of caution used to mark hazards.Credit: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

The melding of cutting-edge technology and world-saving vision is Tesla Inc.’s big draw. Many, including Justine White, the safety lead, went to work there inspired by Elon Musk, a CEO with star power and now agroundbreaking rocket in space.

What she and some of her colleagues found, they said, was a chaotic factory floor where style and speed trumped safety. Musk’s name often was invoked to justify shortcuts and shoot down concerns, they said.

Under fire for mounting injuries, Tesla recently touted a sharp drop in its injury rate for 2017, which it says came down to meet the auto industry average of about 6.2 injuries per 100 workers.

But things are not always as they seem at Tesla. An investigation by Revealfrom The Center for Investigative Reporting found that Tesla has failed to report some of its serious injuries on legally mandated reports, making the company’s injury numbers look better than they actually are.

Last April, Tarik Logan suffered debilitating headaches from the fumes of a toxic glue he had to use at the plant. He texted his mom: “I’m n hella pain foreal something ain’t right.”

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The searing pain became so unbearable he couldn’t work, and it plagued him for weeks.

But Logan’s inhalation injury, as it was diagnosed, never made it onto the official injury logs that state and federal law requires companies to keep. Neither did reports from other factory workers of sprains, strains and repetitive stress injuries from piecing together Tesla’s sleek cars.

Instead, company officials labeled the injuries personal medical issues or minor incidents requiring only first aid, according to internal company records obtained by Reveal.

Undercounting injuries is one symptom of a more fundamental problem at Tesla: The company has put its manufacturing of electric cars above safety concerns, according to five former members of its environment, health and safety team who left the company last year. That, they said, has put workers unnecessarily in harm’s way.

At one point, White said she warned superiors about a potential explosion hazard but was told they would defer to production managers because fixing the problem would require stopping the production line.

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From September 2016 to January 2017, White oversaw safety for thousands of workers on Tesla’s general assembly line, in charge of responding to injuries, reviewing injury records, teaching safety classes and assessing the factory for hazards.

“Everything took a back seat to production,” White said. “It’s just a matter of time before somebody gets killed.”

Tesla, worth about $50 billion, employs more than 10,000 workers at its Fremont factory. Alongside the company’s remarkable rise, workers have been sliced by machinery, crushed by forklifts, burned in electrical explosions and sprayed with molten metal. Tesla recorded 722 injuries last year, about two a day. The rate of serious injuries, requiring time off or a work restriction, was 30 percent worse than the previous year’s industry average.

Frantic growth, constant changes and lax rules, combined with a CEO whom senior managers were afraid to cross, created an atmosphere in which few dared to stand up for worker safety, the former environment, health and safety team members told Reveal.

And in addition to yellow, Musk was said to dislike too many signs in the factory and the warning beeps forklifts make when backing up, former team members said. His preferences, they said, were well known and led to cutting back on those standard safety signals.

“If someone said, ‘Elon doesn’t like something,’ you were concerned because you could lose your job,” said Susan Rigmaiden, former environmental compliance manager.

A few months into her job, White became so alarmed that she wrote to a human resources manager that “the risk of injury is too high. People are getting hurt every day and near-hit incidents where people are getting almost crushed or hit by cars is unacceptable.”

The next day, she emailed Sam Teller, Musk’s chief of staff, that safety team leaders were failing to address the hazards.

“I know what can keep a person up at night regarding safety,” she wrote. “I must tell you that I can’t sleep here at Tesla.”

She said she never heard back from Musk’s office. She transferred departments and quit a couple months later, disillusioned.

In her March 2017 resignation letter, White recounted the time she told her boss, Seth Woody, “that the plant layout was extremely dangerous to pedestrians.” Woody, head of the safety team, told her “that Elon didn’t want signs, anything yellow (like caution tape) or to wear safety shoes in the plant” and acknowledged it “was a mess,” she wrote.

She sent the letter directly to Musk and the head of human resources at the time – to no response, she said. Woody did not respond to inquiries.

Tesla quality inspector Dennis Cruz has had a series of injuries that took him off the production line. At one point, living on workers’ compensation payments because of work-induced tendinitis, he ended up living in his car, unable to afford rent.Credit: Emily Harger for Reveal

Tesla officials dismissed all of White’s concerns as unsubstantiated. They insisted that the company records injuries accurately and cares deeply about the safety of its workers. As proof, company officials said a recent anonymous internal survey found 82 percent of employees agreed that “Tesla is committed to my health, safety and well-being.”

Before publication of this story, a Tesla spokesman sent a statementaccusing Reveal of being a tool in an ongoing unionization drive and portraying “a completely false picture of Tesla and what it is actually like to work here.”

“In our view, what they portray as investigative journalism is in fact an ideologically motivated attack by an extremist organization working directly with union supporters to create a calculated disinformation campaign against Tesla,” the statement said.

Tesla’s spokesman also sent photos of rails and posts in the factory that were painted yellow.

Reveal interviewed more than three dozen current and former employees and managers and reviewed hundreds of pages of documents. Some of the workers who spoke to Reveal have supported the unionization effort, while many others – including safety professionals – had no involvement.

A chaotic factory floor

On one hand, Tesla boasts state-of-the-art machinery that makes it “like working for Iron Man,” as one former employee described it. On the other, the company relied on hoists that weren’t engineered or inspected before they were used to lift heavy car parts, according to a former safety team member, resulting in repeated accidents.

At Tesla’s electric car factory in Fremont, Calif., CEO Elon Musk’s name often was invoked to justify shortcuts and shoot down safety concerns, former safety experts for the company say.Credit: Paul Sakuma/Associated Press

The company is under immense pressure to ramp up manufacturing of the new Model 3 sedan, its first mass-market vehicle at $35,000. Musk initially said Tesla would be producing 20,000 of them per month by the end of 2017 but the company just missed its scaled-back promise to produce half that number.

Tesla is often in a state of frenzied production. Former employees said they faced 12-hour workdays, faulty equipment and paltry training as they scrambled to come up with workarounds on the fly to get cars out the door.

The hustle meant that health and safety protocols could literally get left in the dust. Last year, construction workers cut through concrete to build the new Model 3 assembly line, spreading silica dust – which can cause cancer – without containing and testing it first, Rigmaiden and two other former members of the health and safety team said.

Despite the high stakes for life and limb, the safety professionals maintain safety training has been woefully inadequate. The company said all workers receive at least four days of training. But new employees often were pulled out of training early to fill spots on the factory floor, White and another former safety team member said.

Team members were reluctant to speak to reporters, but said they agreed to in order to help improve conditions for current and future Tesla workers. Some asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals or hurting their careers.

In an interview, Tesla Chief People Officer Gaby Toledano, who joined the company in May, repeatedly questioned the motives of the former health and safety professionals and suggested they might have been “failing at their own job.”

Toledano touted the hiring in October of Laurie Shelby as Tesla’s first vice president for environment, health and safety as an improvement in itself.

“Anybody who walks through our doors into this factory is our responsibility, and we care about them,” said Shelby, formerly safety vice president at aluminum manufacturer Alcoa. “I have a passion for safety and it’s about caring.”

Tesla disputed each of Reveal’s findings. The company said that it had no information that workers were exposed to silica dust and that it does regular air monitoring. It said that while some hoists did fail and injure workers, it was not due to a lack of engineering or inspections, and they have been improved.

Tesla officials Laurie Shelby (left) and Gaby Toledano read the concerns of then-safety lead Justine White, who emailed CEO Elon Musk’s chief of staff in 2016. “I know what can keep a person up at night regarding safety,” she wrote. “I must tell you that I can’t sleep here at Tesla.” Tesla says her concerns were unsubstantiated.Credit: Paul Kuroda for Reveal

Toledano and Shelby said they had never heard of Musk’s purported aesthetic preferences and pointed out that the factory does have some yellow. Both distanced themselves from what might have happened before their tenure.

Not all injured workers have given up on Tesla, either. Dennis Cruz has had his share of injuries, yet he still wants to get back to the production line.

At one point, out on workers’ compensation because of work-induced tendinitis, Cruz ended up living in his car, unable to afford rent. Then, in late 2016, a toxic adhesive many workers complain about got in his eye, damaging his cornea. And in September, as a quality inspector, Cruz says he put out a fire that broke out on a car body, inhaling fumes from burning chemicals.

Cruz, 42, is on light duty as he struggles with shortness of breath, coughing spells and headaches. But he wants to provide for his family, apply his skills and get promoted.

“I can’t do that on workers’ comp. I can’t do that away from the factory,” he said. “That’s why I push to go back. I push to go back into the fire.”

Discrepancies in injury counts

In Tesla’s internal injury tracking system, a supervisor wrote that a worker couldn’t come to work one day in February 2017 because “his left arm was in pain from installing Wiper motors during his shift.” One worker “fainted and hit head on floor” because “team member was working in a group setting and became uncomfortably hot.” Another employee, a supervisor noted, was “highly relied upon at this workstation” but injured her shoulder from repetitive motion due to an “Unfriendly Ergonomic Process.”

Tesla is required by law to report every work-related injury that results in days away from work, job restrictions or medical treatment beyond first aid. But those injuries were labeled “personal medical” cases, meaning work had nothing to do with them. So they weren’t counted when Tesla tallied its injuries on legally mandated reports.

New Tesla employees learn how to use tools safely in a training session at the Fremont, Calif., factory. State safety regulators have cited Tesla eight times since 2013 for deficient training, including twice in the last year.Credit: Paul Kuroda for Reveal

The list of the uncounted goes on. One worker had back spasms when reaching for boxes, one sprained her back carrying something to a work table and one got a pinch in his back from bending over to apply sealer and couldn’t walk off the pain.

By law, if something at work contributed to an injury – even if work wasn’t the only cause – the injury must be counted.

A former Tesla safety professional, however, said the company systematically undercounted injuries by mislabeling them.

“I saw injuries on there like broken bones and lacerations that they were saying were not recordable” as injuries, said the safety professional, who asked to remain anonymous. “I saw a lot of stuff that was like, ‘Wow, this is crazy.’ ”

Reveal compared records from Tesla’s internal tracking system, obtained from a source, with the official logs, which were requested by an employee and provided to Reveal.

For a dozen examples provided to the company by Reveal, Tesla stood by its decision to not count them. It said workers may have thought they were injured because of their jobs, and supervisors may have assumed the same. But later, Tesla said, a medical professional – sometimes contracted or affiliated with the company – determined there was no connection to work.

“I feel very strongly,” Shelby said. “We are doing proper recordkeeping here at Tesla.”

Reveal also provided Tesla’s internal descriptions of the injuries, along with the company’s case-by-case response, to Doug Parker, executive director of Worksafe, an Oakland-based organization that previously analyzed Tesla’s official injury logs.

“The examples you’ve given me are concerning, troubling,” he said. “They suggest that Tesla isn’t reporting all the workplace injuries that they should be reporting.”

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California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health has cited Tesla for more than 40 violations since 2013. Tesla’s rate of serious injuries that required time off or job restrictions was 83 percent higher than the industry in 2016. Since then, however, Tesla says it has turned things around on its way to “becoming the safest car factory in the world.”

Last year, Musk claimed in a staffwide email and at a shareholder meetingthat the company’s injury rate was much better than the industry average. A company blog post said that to be average would be “to go backwards.”

Then Tesla apparently did hit reverse.

“Our 2017 data showed that we are at industry average, so we’re happy about that,” Shelby said, explaining the earlier claims as a “snapshot in time.”

Musk also emailed his staff last year saying he was meeting weekly with the safety team 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.”

Toledano said Musk did meet with some injured workers, but no longer meets weekly with the safety team because it isn’t necessary.

“Now I can’t claim he’s met with every injured worker,” she said. “I think that’s absurd.”

Several former members of the environment, health and safety team said they had other reasons to doubt Tesla’s official numbers.

The company, for example, didn’t always count injuries among the plant’s temporary workers, they said. Tesla fills some of its factory positions with temp workers who later may be offered permanent jobs. Companies must count those injuries if they supervise the temps, as Tesla does.

“That’s the law,” agreed Tesla’s Shelby. “Based on my review of our data, we’ve always done that.”

Laurie Shelby, Tesla’s vice president for environment, health and safety, points to the principles of her department listed on a placard at the car plant in Fremont, Calif.Credit: Paul Kuroda for Reveal

At one point, though, White said she asked her supervisor why the injury rate seemed off, and he told her they weren’t counting temp worker injuries.

“They knew they were reporting incorrect numbers,” White said. “Those workers were being injured on the floor and that wasn’t being captured, and they knew that.”

Tesla began to fix that problem in 2017, former employees said, but it’s unclear how consistently.

After workers requested the company’s injury logs last year, Teslaamended its original 2016 report to add 135 injuries that hadn’t been counted previously. The company said it changed the numbers after it discovered injuries that hadn’t been shared with Tesla by its temp agencies.

Toxic workplace chemicals

In April 2017, Tarik Logan – a temporary worker – was assigned to patch parts in Tesla’s battery packs with Henkel Loctite AA H3500. The powerful adhesive includes toxic chemicals that can cause allergic reactions and even genetic defects. Logan and a former co-worker said they went through more than 100 tubes of the glue a day without adequate ventilation or protection from the fumes.

First it brought dizziness, then headaches – the worst pain he’s ever felt, Logan said.

“He’s a strong person,” said Toni Porter, his mother. “For him to cry out, it was terrifying.”

Tesla referred Logan, then 23, to a medical clinic that diagnosed an “acute reaction to car adhesive glue causing headaches, dizziness, and some respiratory discomfort.” The doctor gave him prescription-strength painkillers and told him to avoid the glue.

“My head still hurt tho,” he texted Porter. “This Shit hurrrrrts!!!!!!!”

These texts are among those sent by Tarik Logan to his mother, Toni Porter, while Logan worked at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California in April 2017.

He missed work and ended up at the hospital multiple times, Logan and Porter said. Then Tesla declined to take him on as a permanent employee, citing attendance issues.

Tesla, in response to Reveal’s inquiries, said it doesn’t agree with the doctor’s determination that Logan’s pain was work-related. In any case, Tesla said, it doesn’t count as an injury because it didn’t require any medical treatment.

By law, however, just the prescription of pain medication – documented in medical records obtained by Reveal – requires that his injury be counted.

Logan handled only a very small amount of the chemical and exposure levels were within standards, Tesla stated. The company also said Logan didn’t complain about headaches until he told a doctor a month later.

That statement is contradicted by medical records and internal company records, which show that Logan’s supervisor put it in Tesla’s injury tracking system and Logan was diagnosed by a doctor a week after his headaches started.

The former safety team member who asked to remain anonymous said Tesla told workers that their reactions to workplace chemicals were personal medical problems instead of treating them.

“We have employees at work that don’t know what they’re being exposed to, and nobody’s taking care of them,” the safety professional said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

Mark Eberley, 48, was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in 2014. He injured his hand welding thousands of studs to car wheelhouses during nearly 12-hour days at Tesla.Credit: Emily Harger for Reveal

One worker is described in internal records as having gone to Tesla’s nurse “expressing concerns with the fumes in the area. Saying he feels like he is dying.” It was marked a personal medical issue, with a note that stated, “Beyond my skillset.”

Shelby, the safety vice president, said Tesla checks thoroughly for chemical exposures and “nowhere are we over any of the exposure limits.”

This year, regulators cited the company for failing to “effectively assess the workplace” for chemical hazards, which Tesla is appealing.

‘Thrown to the wolves’

If Tesla has been improving, it wasn’t fast enough for Alaa Alkhafagi, who joined Tesla in 2017 as an engineering technician servicing robots that spray paint on car bodies. Alkhafagi said he received no safety instruction specific to the paint department.

Last fall, Alkhafagi, 27, said he was told to go underneath the painting booth to clear excess paint from a clogged hose.

Unsure of how to get down there, workers would pry up a piece of the metal flooring and jump in, he said. When he did, Alkhafagi’s foot got stuck in paint, his hand slipped and he fell forward, smashing his head and arm. He ended up unable to make a fist or go back to his job, filing a workers’ compensation claim, he said.

The incident didn’t end up on Tesla’s official injury logs. The company said it wasn’t recorded because Alkhafagi initially received only first aid. But his inability to go back to his normal work duties would mean that the injury should have been counted.

“It’s more than the accident,” Alkhafagi said. “They haven’t trained anyone properly.”

Tesla said that after his injury, the company made sure only specially trained workers did that job.

Lack of adequate training was a problem throughout the factory, said Roger Croney, who oversaw workers in three different departments.

New employees with no factory experience were sent to Tesla’s die-casting operation – where aluminum is melted and molded into parts – without basic training specific to the job, said Croney, former associate manager in that department. Some didn’t know they’d be working with 1,200-degree molten metal.

It was far different from the General Motors plant in Ohio where Croney had worked for eight years, he said. So Croney took it upon himself to develop his own training program. A blast of liquid metal had burned his face and hands not long after he came to Tesla in 2012, and he took safety seriously. But other supervisors didn’t, Croney said.

Roger Croney oversaw workers in three different departments at Tesla. He took it upon himself to develop his own training program for new employees, whom he said were sometimes sent to work with no factory experience or basic training specific to the job.Credit: AJ Mast for Reveal

“A lot of workers come in and they get thrown to the wolves,” he said.

Croney quit in March 2017 with a letter alleging a pattern of discriminatory treatment. Croney, who is black, said he was passed over repeatedly by white people with less experience and then demoted to a supervisor.

In a statement, Tesla said Croney didn’t mention racial discrimination in his letter or exit interview. Croney has a pending claim of racial discrimination at Tesla with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

State safety regulators have cited Tesla eight times since 2013 for deficient training, including twice in the last year, according to a Reveal review of records.

Tesla defended its training regimen, saying all new production employees get a day of orientation, a day of classroom instruction and two days of hands-on training in which they’re shown how to hold and use tools while avoiding injury. Workers building the Model 3 get an additional two days of virtual training on computers.

“Four days is pretty intensive,” Toledano said, “and then there’s ongoing training, so training is central.”

Repetitive stress injuries

Acknowledging that repetitive stress injuries are the most common way workers get hurt there, Tesla officials emphasize ergonomic improvements to the new Model 3 assembly line.

“We actually redesigned it so it’s safer for our employees to make,” Shelby said. “It’s super cool to see when it’s on the line how much easier it is to make the Model 3.”

Tesla, however, wouldn’t let reporters see that assembly line.

Inside Tesla’s electric car factory in Fremont, Calif., the company is under immense pressure to ramp up production of the new Model 3 sedan, its first mass-market vehicle at $35,000.
Credit: Andrej Sokolow/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

When building Tesla’s other cars, former workers said they had to sacrifice their bodies to save time. Some workers, for example, lifted heavy car seats over their shoulders because the mechanical assists designed to ease the load were too slow, said Joel Barraza, a former production associate.

“People would carry a seat because they’d be like, ‘Oh, I gotta get this done.’ I personally carried a seat,” Barraza said. “They’re supposed to move. Move it on, move it on, keep the line going.”

White, the former safety lead, also said workers sometimes lifted seats manually, but Tesla, in a statement, said it doesn’t happen.

Barraza said he was fired along with hundreds of other workers last fall. Tesla said employees were terminated en masse due to performance issues, though some workers have argued they were cost-cutting layoffs or used to punish union supporters.

Mark Eberley shows his scar from surgery after carpal tunnel syndrome left him unable to continue work at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California. He has been out of work for years. Credit: Emily Harger for Reveal

Barraza said he and others hurt their backs through repetitive movements, but few complained because “supervisors would be like, ‘Oh, he’s just being a little bitch.’ ”

Workers’ accounts from 2017 didn’t sound much different from those who were injured years earlier. In 2014, Mark Eberley was diagnosed with Tesla-induced carpal tunnel syndrome. He wrecked his hand welding thousands of studs to car wheelhouses during nearly 12-hour days, he said. He needed surgery and was out of work and on workers’ compensation for years.

“No matter what we were doing, it was hustle, hustle, hustle,” he said. “If you didn’t get your numbers, they’d be complaining to you.”

The pressure could be crushing for white-collar workers as well.

At his office job at the Fremont factory, senior analyst Ali Khan prepared Tesla’s financial filings required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2016, the office was understaffed, and he worked at least 12 hours every day, he said – no weekends, holidays or days off at all.

The pain from repetitive motion started in his wrists, radiated up his arms, then to his neck and back. He said he would have trouble holding a glass of water and couldn’t play with his 1-year-old daughter.

Khan said he asked for an ergonomic evaluation, but Tesla’s safety team told his manager they were too busy.

“My boss is telling me, ‘Oh, if you are going to take time off, it’s going to slow us down, it’s going to affect your reviews,’ ” he said.

Tesla eventually sent him to one of its preferred health clinics. A doctor there diagnosed him with work-related muscle strains and tendinitis, repeatedly prescribing painkillers and work restrictions, medical records show.

That meant Khan had to be listed on Tesla’s injury logs. He wasn’t.

Khan said he still wasn’t allowed the doctor-ordered breaks. Forfeiting lucrative stock options, he submitted his resignation in August 2016. But his body hasn’t recovered.

“These things were preventable – that’s what makes me upset,” he said. “All of this could have been addressed, and it just wasn’t.”

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This story was edited by Ziva Branstetter and Amy Pyle and copy edited by Nadia Wynter and Nikki Frick.

Will Evans can be reached at wevans@revealnews.org, and Alyssa Jeong Perry can be reached at alyssaperry@kqed.org. Follow them on Twitter: @willCIR and @alyssajperry.

 

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Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk is pushing back against claims that workers at the company’s Fremont, California, plant are underpaid and overworked, setting the stage for a fight over potential unionization at the plant.

Jose Moran, who claims to have worked at the factory for four years, made the accusations in a blog post on Medium. Moran said workers have contacted the UAW, which has been reaching out to Tesla employees since last year, about their concerns.

“Injuries, poor morale, unfair promotions, high turnover and other issues aren’t just bad for workers -- they also impact the quality and speed of production,” Moran wrote. “They can’t be resolved without workers having a voice and being included in the process.”

Musk refuted the claims via direct messages to the tech website Gizmodo on Twitter.

“Our understanding is that this guy was paid by the UAW to join Tesla and agitate for a union. He doesn’t really work for us, he works for the UAW,” Musk wrote. “Frankly, I find this attack to be morally outrageous.”

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Musk also blamed the UAW for the closure of New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., the joint venture between General Motors and Toyota that owned and operated the plant between 1984 and 2010.

“The UAW killed NUMMI and abandoned the workers at our Fremont plant in 2010,” he wrote. “They have no leg to stand on.”

The union fought back against Musk in a statement Friday.

“Mr. Moran is not and has not been paid by the UAW,” the union said. “We would hope that Tesla would apologize to their employee, Mr. Moran, for spreading fake news about him. We can confirm that Mr. Moran and others at Tesla have approached the UAW and we welcome them with open arms.”

The back-and-forth between Moran, the UAW and Musk is the latest sign that efforts to unionize the Fremont plant could be picking up steam. Automotive News reported in June that UAW officials have been in contact with workers at the plant to gauge interest in organization.

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In his post, Moran wrote that Tesla responded to workers’ concerns by raising base pay in November. However, the compensation has not been enough to cover living expenses in the Bay Area, and employees have been afraid to speak out due to confidentiality agreements, he wrote.

In a letter to the California State Assembly dated Jan. 17, Tesla said the purpose of its nondisclosure agreement was to prevent employees from leaking product information ahead of release dates, and workers were free to discuss legal concerns or issues with wages and working conditions with government or third-party agencies.

Musk, who said Tesla is “union neutral,” told Gizmodo that Tesla offers higher starting pay for workers than those at UAW-represented plants do. He said total compensation is “higher for a given level of seniority when factoring in stock grants.”

Moran’s comments come after UAW president Dennis Williams last year said that the union hopes to organize workers at the Tesla plant, noting that the UAW initially held off on an organizing push in Tesla’s early years because of the company’s status as a startup.


 

Tesla sues former head of Autopilot and former Google exec

Tesla Motors Inc. is suing its former head of Autopilot software for stealing company information and recruiting Tesla employees for a competing startup while still employed by the automaker.The suit, ...

UAW secretary-treasurer Gary Casteel told Automotive News in June that union staff have been communicating with workers at the plant. There was no indication at the time that the union had assigned organizing staff to Tesla.

“They’re supporting the workers and talking to the workers that are interested and seeing how that interest grows,” Casteel said.

The Fremont plant is the only U.S. plant owned by an American automaker that is not unionized. Along with Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant and Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi, plant, the Tesla factory is one of several high-profile assembly plants the UAW aims to organize.

Tesla has touted the number of factory jobs it has created within the U.S. The 5.3 million-square-foot Fremont plant employs more than 6,000 workers, and its battery Gigafactory in Nevada employs 3,000 construction workers and factory employees. In January, the automaker said it will expand the capacity of the Gigafactory, adding 550 jobs.

“This is not the first time we have been the target of a professional union organizing effort such as this,” a Tesla spokesman said in a statement.

"Musk blasts 'morally outrageous' claims amid unionization push" was originally published at Automotive News on 2/10/17.

 

 

Tesla Motors Was Created by Corruption and Political Bribery. Never Let Elon Musk Get Away With His Crimes!

Why you should NEVER buy a Tesla, or anything that Elon Musk Makes!

 

-- If you have an ounce of morality, then you will not want to help Musk & Tesla profit from the crony political corruption that created them. Musk exists because he bribes politicians & acts as an illegal campaign financing conduit.

-- DOT/NHTSA has covered up years of reports about an acceleration surge issue that can suddenly crash your Tesla into walls and drive it off cliffs. It is either a known hacking attack or the effect of WiFi on Tesla electronics. Either can kill you.

-- If you believe in God, or are in any way religious, Musk & Tesla are pure evil & exist because of hyper-corruption. You don’t want to contribute to their evil or be part of it in any way. You are funding evil & supporting criminal corruption by buying a Tesla or any Elon Musk owned product like Solar City, Tesla, Space X, Hyperloop, etc.!

-- If you read about the dirty deeds and cocaine dealings with the In-Q-Tel airplanes called “Cocaine 1” & “Cocaine 2”, & the corruption behind the company called In-Q-Tel & Musk’s software programmer who ran “The Silk Road” drug & murder service then you must be concerned that many In-Q-Tel people work for Musk. Why does Musk need dirty druggies & spies on his payroll unless he is running covert drug and business spying activities?

-- If you are a Democrat then know that Elon Musk cost you the Hillary Clinton campaign because of his payola schemes. If you are a Republican, know that Elon Musk is the epitome of the worst form of DNC crony corruption you ever saw!

-- Musk bribed California politicians to give him hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars & resources he never earned or worked for. He only got those crony payola perks handed to him because he operated as an illicit front for corrupt campaign financing for Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown, Harry Reid, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

-- Multiple parties have filed “Demands For The Arrest of Elon Musk” with the FBI, DOJ, AG, FTC, SEC and other law enforcement agencies. It is not likely that Musk, or his companies will survive a full investigation.

Tesla and Solyndra sit on the same land in Fremont, CA. Solyndra was raided by the FBI for corruption. Tesla SHOULD be raided by the FBI for corruption. Both companies had kick-back crony payola schemes with Senator Dianne Feinstein. She owned the land, lease, HR, construction company and supplier interests and stock for both companies in one of the most massive conflict-of-interest crony financing schemes in U.S. history. Elon Musk and the Feinsteins are corruption partners.

People who see you in a Tesla think of you as a “Tone Deaf Douchebag”, “Tesla Tool!”, “Arrogant Prick”, “Ostentatious Obama Oaf”, “Sheep”, “Mindless Yuppie Scum”, “Misogynistic Silicon Valley Clone”, “Self-promoting Elitist Douche”, “Fake News Reading Main Stream Boob”, “Naive Idiot” or other bad things.

Elon Musk is one of the main financiers behind Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton, both of whom have been charged with corruption. Musk endlessly tweets lies & “...No I didn’t do those bad things” BS but nobody else supports him.

Tesla financial records are “cooked” in a fraudulent manner to make the stock market valuation of Tesla a falsely manipulated factor. Musk uses “pre-orders”, by his own investors, to fake sales and wrote emails to customers asking them to put small deposits down so he could book them as fully paid sales in one of a large number of stock and loan valuation frauds. Musk and his investors practice stock market skims, pump-and-dumps and Flash Boy manipulations.

Lithium ion batteries are blowing up, starting fires &, generally, destroying people’s homes, cars, electronics & physical health. Boeing was ordered to stop flying the 787 Dreamliner because it's Lithium ion batteries are catching fire spontaneously. A group of silicon valley venture capitalists forced/leveraged the government to buy & pay for these specific batteries, that they have stock in, in order to benefit their profit margins. Other batteries don’t have these problems. They knew about the dangers from day one, but put greed ahead of safety. There are thousands & thousands of reports of spontaneous lithium ion fires but the VC's who back lithium ion pay to keep this information hushed up. Millions of these batteries have been recalled for fire risk. The VC's tried to push as many as they could before they got caught. Now they are caught. These VC's & the Senators they bribed own stock in lithium mining companies too.

Tesla Motors has filed a patent which states the following , THESE ARE TESLA MOTORS WORDS warning about a crisis, the level of which they never disclosed to the consumer: “Thermal runaway is of major concern since a single incident can lead to significant property damage &, in some circumstances, bodily harm or loss of life. When a battery undergoes thermal runaway, it typically emits a large quantity of smoke, jets of flaming liquid electrolyte, & sufficient heat to lead to the combustion & destruction of materials in close proximity to the cell. If the cell undergoing thermal runaway is surrounded by one or more additional cells as is typical in a battery pack, then a single thermal runaway event can quickly lead to the thermal runaway of multiple cells which, in turn, can lead to much more extensive collateral damage. Regardless of whether a single cell or multiple cells are undergoing this phenomenon, if the initial fire is not extinguished immediately, subsequent fires may be caused that dramatically expand the degree of property damage. For example, the thermal runaway of a battery within an unattended laptop will likely result in not only the destruction of the laptop, but also at least partial destruction of its surroundings, e.g., home, office, car, laboratory, etc. If the laptop is on-board an aircraft, for example within the cargo hold or a luggage compartment, the ensuing smoke & fire may lead to an emergency landing or, under more dire conditions, a crash landing. Similarly, the thermal runaway of one or more batteries within the battery pack of a hybrid or electric vehicle may destroy not only the car, but may lead to a car wreck if the car is being driven or the destruction of its surroundings if the car is parked”. See whoiselonmusk.com for more...

Tesla's own staff, & every fire department, have now admitted that once a lithium ion fire gets started in a Tesla, that it is impossible to extinguish burning lithium ion material. This is Telsa’s own words in THEIR patent filing, (You can look it up online) saying that the risk is monumental. Tesla has 6800 lithium ion batteries, any one of which can “go thermal”, start a chain reaction and blow up all of the rest of the 6800+ deadly batteries! Tesla drivers have been burned alive in thermal globs of flaming lithium ion, plastics & metal. Bystanders have heard their horrific screams of unutterable pain & terror as they were burned alive! Tesla fires can’t be extinguished & the bodies are burned into “unrecognizable lumps of charred flesh”, according to fireman.

Lithium Ion batteries “go thermal” in peoples pockets, in your notebook, especially in a Tesla & Fisker car. There are tens of thousands of articles documenting this & there is a cover-up by the VC’s that fund these things to keep this fact out-of-sight. Making Lithium Ion batteries poisons the workers who make them. It is a dangerous product that is covered-up by the Obama Administration. Panasonic knows that these batteries are deadly.

Tesla only exists to exploit Elon Musk’s briberies. The lithium ion batteries blow up when they get: wet, hot, bumped, over-charged, struck by energy fields, exposed to air or squashed. Lithium ion batteries poison the Earth & that they poison & kill the workers that make them. Lithium ion batteries come from war profiteering in Afghan & Bolivian corruption.

Panasonic is Elon Musk’s partner. Panasonic is one of the most corrupt companies in the world. Panasonic has been charged, on multiple continents with: Product dumping, bribery, collusion, price fixing, anti-trust law violations, racketeering, worker abuse, toxic poisoning of workers, & other crimes. It is no wonder that Elon Musk & Panasonic are partners. Tata Motors executive Karl Slym was killed for exposing this fact.

Your tax dollars were stolen in order to make Tesla Motors, as part of a political financing kick-back scam. In other words, part of your paycheck was taken away from you in order to buy hookers, rent-boys & private jets for Musk & company.

Tesla’s are forged in criminal corruption, so anybody who drives a Tesla must be either ignorant, a weasel or one of the corrupt. The whole world now knows all of the facts in this list so you can never plead ignorance to these crimes.

Telsa’s have a huge amount of highly documented defects. The defects are so extensive that Tesla made buyers sign confidentiality agreements to try to hide how messed up their cars are.

Tesla’s have killed more people than the main-stream news has reported. The full Tesla death-list is covered up.

Musk lied about why he wanted to make electric cars, when, in fact, he actually poisons the environment because Tesla investors wanted to exploit toxic minerals & materials which can't be recycled in a clean manner

No other electric car has been so mundane, & yet had so many problems with it, since the electric car was first sold in the 1800's. There is nothing “novel” or “amazing” about the Tesla aside from dime store parlor tricks for PR hype.

More drunks have crashed Tesla's, than any other per capita car in the world, per volume of cars made

Elon Musk's co-founders, investors, partners, wives, investors, suppliers & employees have sued him for being a fraud &, essentially, called him an "asshole" in court records.

Elon Musk lied on this Department of Energy funding application and the Obama Administration refuses to allow any federal employees or witnesses to testify to these facts in public due to the devastating potential results of these facts.

More owners of Tesla's have been found to cheat on their taxes, & be involved in abuse-based divorces, than almost any other car brand owner. Tesla owners are bad people who rationalize their poor life choices.

Elon Musk will lie, cheat & steal in order to self-aggrandize & glorify his egotistical mania. Musk has been documented engaging in over 100 lies which were later proven to be false. He has spent tens of millions of dollars to buy fake news about himself on Twitter, Facebook & Google because he is such a mentally disturbed ego-maniac.

None of Elon Musk's companies would exist if not for taxpayer funded handouts given to him by corrupt politicians in exchange for illegal campaign finance deals with him & his investors.

Google, & Tesla, who are financial & political partners, have both been caught spying on consumers & manipulating Internet data in order to cover-up their complicity in huge political corruption & kick-back deals

Musk took U.S. taxpayer dollars from the government & then hired cheap off-shore labor & fired U.S. Union workers & domestic workers. He lied to & screwed the NUMMI workers that were working at the Fremont plant.

Musk has put over 18 surveillance devices in the Tesla. Anybody can hack those devices & monitor you. WORSE YET, foreign agents have hacked the Tesla & taken over the controls & driven Tesla’s into bystanders & over cliffs.

When Erick Strickland was head of the NHTSA he was confronted about DOT safety cover-ups of the Tesla to protect Obama. He quit 48 hours later. The DOT safety cover-ups to protect the Obama campaign finance payola scheme continue to this day. Obama’s Gibbs, Emanual, Plouffe, Axelrod and Carney quit within a week of being threatened with exposure.

Tesla’s have had a large number of recalls but Elon Musk refuses to call them “recalls”. Tesla’s have had multiple recalls for SEVERE safety dangers. DOT has been told this, in writing, for years, but wont take action in order to protect Obama.

Elon Musk is a bullshit artist who has no original ideas & wears black-turtle neck shirts (like Elizabeth Homes) to try to create a “cult” around himself & convince the world that he is a “Jesus-like” figure when, in fact, he is a clinical sociopath.

Tesla is a severe public safety hazard that has been systematically covered up by corrupt politicians.

Tesla Motors batteries were promoted by those who wished to exploit the Afghanistan War for personal profit by controlling the Afghan lithium mining fields. Kleiner Perkins and Draper Fisher hyped the “...trillions of $ of lithium in Afganistan.

Tesla Motors batteries blow up on their own.

Tesla Motors batteries blow up when they get wet.

Tesla Motors batteries fires cannot be put out by any common fire-fighting resources.

Tesla Motors batteries set themselves on fire.

Per MSDS documents, Tesla Motors batteries emit cancer-causing vapors when they burn.

Tesla Motors Vehicles toxicity poison bystanders, nearby vehicular passengers, airline passengers in planes carrying said batteries in their holds, & environments where such incidents occur.

Tesla Motors batteries blow up when bumped by the same level of car incident that would, otherwise, only dent a normal car bumper.

In an accident, when a Tesla rolls over, molten metal & plastic can drip on & burn the occupants alive.

Per MSDS documents, Tesla Motors batteries emit brain damaging chemicals when they burn.

Per MSDS documents, Tesla Motors batteries emit chemicals, burning, or not, that can damage an unborn fetus.

Per MSDS documents, Tesla Motors batteries emit chemicals that can cause lung damage.

Per MSDS documents, Tesla Motors batteries emit chemicals that can cause liver damage.

Per published lawsuits & news reports, the factories that make Tesla Motors batteries have been charged with the deaths, & potentially fatal illness, of over 1000 workers & the poisoning of nearby towns.

Tesla Motors batteries become even more dangerous over time, particularly when tasked by electric transportation systems like Hover-boards & Tesla's. The chemistry in a lithium ion battery changes to become more unstable over time.

Tesla Motors batteries were never designed to be used in automobiles. Tesla used non-automotive batteries in one of the most dangerous configurations possible.

Tesla Motors occupants experience higher EMF radiation exposure than gasoline vehicle occupants.

Elon Musk's Space X vehicles & Tesla Motors vehicles have both had a higher-than-average number of explosions. This has caused outside experts to doubt Musk's ability to place safety considerations over his need for hyped-up PR.

Leaked Sandia National Labs & FAA research videos dramatically demonstrate the unstoppable, horrific, “re-percussive accelerating domino-effect” explosive fire effect of the Tesla Motors batteries.

Tesla's own “Superchargers” & home 3-prong chargers have set Tesla's, homes & businesses on fire.

Consumer rights groups contacted Erick Strickland, the head of the NHTSA, & charged him with a cover-up. He quit days later. The NHTSA then issued a safety investigation request to Tesla Motors, which would have more publicly exposed these dangers, but the safety investigation was never under-taken due to White House requests & lobbyist bribes, from Tesla, which got the investigation shut down.

NEPA regulations for the Tesla NUMMI factory in California & the Nevada Tesla “Gigafactory” have been violated relative to environmental safety standards.

Tesla Motors vehicles are not “Factory Built” “like Ford” builds cars, as Tesla professes. They are hand built in small volumes & subjected to numerous defects. Blogs have documented hundreds of defects, as listed by Tesla owners. Tesla has lost at least one LEMON CAR LAWSUIT for defective manufacturing.

Tesla's “showrooms” are often “pop-up” retail storefronts that are in tight-proximity retail centers, putting it's neighbors at risk of total loss from fire damage.

Tesla Motors vehicles have been hacked & taken over. Their doors, steering, listening devices & navigation have been taken over by outside parties. Multiple Tesla have suddenly swerved off the road, over cliffs & into other vehicles, killing bystanders & Tesla drivers.

Three Tesla top engineers & two competing senior executives, all of whom had whistle-blown on Tesla, who were in perfect health one day, suddenly died mysteriously the next day.

Multiple employees, founders, investors, marital partners, suppliers & others have sued Tesla Motors, &/or it's senior executives for fraud. Musk had nothing to do with creating Tesla. He ran a hostile take-over of Tesla from the founders.

In addition to suing him, many of his former staff & partners have described Musk as an “Arrogant Prick”.

If you think the above bullet-points are bad there are over a 1000 more. Find the book “Is Elon Musk A Fraud” online or visit https://stopelonfromfailingagain.com/ or thousands of other sites that expose the truth about Musk & Tesla!

 

 

 

BANKRUPT MUSK – NO CASH FOR CRONY CORRUPTION. Print this out & freely re-post it on blogs & social media. Post this on bulletin boards. Put this on the windshield of every Tesla you find. Print this out & hand these out in front of every Tesla dealership: Nobody can stop you from handing these out, it is your U.S. Constitutional First Amendment Right! Pass the word! We are prepared to back up every single fact on here at any public meeting with the FBI, Congress, FTC, GAO, SEC or before a Federal Special Prosecutor.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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