Tesla Shanghai workers criticized Elon Musk online over bonus cuts, even complained to his mom



Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory in 2021.
Xiaolu Chu/Getty Images
  • Workers at Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory were told about bonus cuts over the weekend, per Reuters.
  • Some supervisors referred to a “safety incident” after one worker was killed in February.
  • Some staff took to social media to raise the issue with CEO Elon Musk, and his mom, Maye.

Some Tesla workers at the company’s biggest factory are complaining to Elon Musk and his mom on social media, after bonuses were cut following a fatal accident, Reuters reported.

Posts on forums like Baidu Tieba, criticizing Tesla management, started after workers were told about cuts over the weekend.

Others appeared to spread the message through Twitter, tagging Tesla accounts and Maye Musk, Elon’s mother, as well as the electric vehicle company’s CEO. 

“Please pay attention to the performance of frontline workers at Tesla’s Shanghai factory being arbitrarily deducted,” one account tweeted.

Last year, Musk praised the Shanghai factory’s 20,000 staff for their work ethic, saying: “They will be burning the 3 a.m. oil.”

That came as some workers were required to sleep on the factory floor according to an internal memo, in order to keep production going during China’s strict COVID lockdowns. 

Reuters cited a report from the local government published last week, which says one worker died during an accident in Tesla’s welding workshop in February. 

Its investigation concluded that an error from Tesla’s safety management indirectly contributed, but the worker was directly responsible. 

Two factory workers told Reuters that supervisors mentioned a “safety incident” when asked why their quarterly performance bonuses had been cut.

Aidan Chau, a researcher at the workers’ rights organization China Labour Bulletin, told Reuters that penalties for a work accident usually came out of a safety bonus.

“Deducting the performance bonus, which should be related to workers’ output and has nothing to do with work safety, is even more unfair,” he said.

Tesla did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment. 





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