Maybe free frozen yogurt wasn’t enough. Tesla has been under fire in recent months over working conditions at the automaker’s California factory. To make amends (or a publicity stunt), Elon Musk says he’ll now jump in and work the line to perform the same tasks as every employee who’s injured on the job.
The statement from Musk trickled out this week by way of the Model 3 Owners Club, which felt it showed Tesla is “dead serious” about safety. (Maybe not the best word choice, folks.) A Tesla spokesperson didn’t respond to requests for comment on the authenticity of the email, but EV-worshiper and Tesla-booster news site Electrek on Friday apparently verified it.
Here’s what Musk said:
The idea of Musk hitting the line in a show of solidarity is strange, given the busy workload ahead with Tesla’s Model 3 set to go into production next month. Tesla was criticized this week for its claim to have the lowest injury rate in the industry, when data from the prior two years actually showed it outpaced the average. (Tesla has since said its dramatically reduced the injury rate below the industrywide average this year, but that’s only through the first quarter.)
Earlier this year, employees publicly spoke out about what they considered unsatisfactory working conditions inside Tesla’s California factory, coinciding with a renewed push by the United Auto Workers to unionize the plant. In turn, Musk slammed the drive and promised employees free frozen yogurt stands and a Tesla “electric pod car roller coaster.” As far as we can tell, that hasn’t dissuaded pro-union employees from continuing their drive.
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