Elon Musk Apologizes For Tesla Workers Paid $5 An Hour

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Elon Musk has apologized for the use of cheap subcontracted foreign labor to build a new paint shop at one of the Tesla plants in California. You would think that there would have been warning bells when a subcontractor bids a job twenty times cheaper than everyone else but, to Musk's credit, he seems legitimately concerned saying he will "make it right."

Workers hired by subcontractor Eisenmann, a German-based manufacturer, received hourly wages as low as $5, which is a fraction of the prevailing wages for local sheet metal workers – $52 an hour plus $42 an hour in benefits and pensions, according to a report by the Bay Area News Group. In response to the article, Musk tweeted, “Only heard about this today. Sounds like the wrong thing happened on many levels. Will investigate and make it right.”

 

Putz

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so 94$ an hour on total compensation is local workers? must be unionized lol... no one can afford that shit these days
 

pothb

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wait wait wait.... 52 bucks and hour? Holy shit. And that's without the benefits?


Anyway, yea. not even a sub contractor, but a sub sub contractor? That's way far out of his reach.
 

EchtoGammut

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A couple of notes on this. Tesla, paid what ever the contracting firm charged them, which was probably $25 an hour for a general laborer. It was the contracting firm that paid the guy $5 an hour. The guy's B1 said he was a Supervisor with special automotive paint shop construction knowledge and he was being brought over for his expertise. They then used him as a general laborer. His actual trade was an electrician, in his homeland, which is where they get the $52 /hour number from.
 

cyclone3d

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Really... $52 an hour without benefits is the going rate for sheet metal workers??????

Somehow I think that is way out of line.
 

Time2Kill

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Really... $52 an hour without benefits is the going rate for sheet metal workers??????

Somehow I think that is way out of line.
$94 actually without benefits or overtime. And people wonder why businesses try to get rid of Unions.
 

raz-0

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A couple of notes on this. Tesla, paid what ever the contracting firm charged them, which was probably $25 an hour for a general laborer. It was the contracting firm that paid the guy $5 an hour. The guy's B1 said he was a Supervisor with special automotive paint shop construction knowledge and he was being brought over for his expertise. They then used him as a general laborer. His actual trade was an electrician, in his homeland, which is where they get the $52 /hour number from.
I don't think that is it. I think they just pulled a number out of their ass, as they are quoting prevailing wage laws, and CA has prevailing wage tables just like any other place that has them. Yes, they are union rates, but looking them up, the closest I find for she4et metal worker is maybne steel erector and fabricator (building construction). Their max hourly non-ot wage is $75.14 which is ~$45 in pay, and ~$29 in benefits. If they work holiday OT, it goes up to $120/h total.

I sampled from multiple charts there, and the highest I found was asbestost and frost insulation installer at $82 and change per hour with benefits, straight pay.
 

oROEchimaru

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most benefits range from 10-20$/hr so 40$ is a bit high, possibly pension rules or large increases due to other consulting firms. ... also the wage adjustments for CA are much higher than other states like the south/midwest where our cost of living is lower. For skilled trades 30-60/hr is common, 5$ not so much .
 

doz

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I sampled from multiple charts there, and the highest I found was asbestost and frost insulation installer at $82 and change per hour with benefits, straight pay.
And a good portion of them die before 65................
 

unab0mb

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Good for him. He seems like a reasonable guy. It's not Tesla's fault/responsibility legally, but in the article it is said Musk wants to do what is morally right. I'd take care of the workers first, then sue the hell out of the contracting companies.
 

Armenius

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It's nice that Tesla wants to do good and all, but as smart as the guy seems to be you have to know that the labor gets the shaft when a contractor is outbidding the others by a good margin.
 

Trepidati0n

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It's nice that Tesla wants to do good and all, but as smart as the guy seems to be you have to know that the labor gets the shaft when a contractor is outbidding the others by a good margin.
It depends. If you have a hundreds of sub-contractors, keeping razor focus on them all is not simple for Musk to do... In short, he shouldn't be doing it; that is for his minions. However, what he should be doing is when he finds out something that stinks is to try and fix it; that is what he is doing. His job is to steer the ship based upon the feedback he is given and hopefully chart the best course.
 

Ultima99

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That's prevailing wage for you. Sometimes you'll see the guy who does nothing but sweep the floor at a job site making $40+ and people wonder why stuff costs so much.
 

Kalabalana

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Don't blame Musk, the company that got the bid most likely didn't disclose how they would pay their own employees to achieve this.
 

Krab

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i bet he knew about it. He's smart and ruthless.
Unless you have some evidence that says otherwise. I doubt it.

Contractors win bids by under-bidding and using scummy labor practices and cutting corners every day of the week.
 

Bowman15

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That's why its best to keep contract bids secret from each contractor. If it was a way out of the ordinary low bid then someone at Telsa in the know would have surely asked why. Playing dumb doesn't work anymore. Not that Elon Musk necessarily knew about it.

NM it was a sub contractor....
 

Time2Kill

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That's why its best to keep contract bids secret from each contractor. If it was a way out of the ordinary low bid then someone at Telsa in the know would have surely asked why. Playing dumb doesn't work anymore. Not that Elon Musk necessarily knew about it.

NM it was a sub contractor....
You're assuming it was a low bid. No one ever said it was a low bid and was obvious that there was something not right.
 

Bowman15

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You're assuming it was a low bid. No one ever said it was a low bid and was obvious that there was something not right.
You missed my second sentence...it was a sub contractor so even if it was low the contractor bid could have been OK and within reason....didn't know that right away.
 

Kalabalana

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In North America, you get some bids, and pick the lowest, in europe, they usually avg out the bids and pick the one in the middle.

Completely different frame of thinking
 

Dead Parrot

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If the Feds gave a damn, they would file 140 charges of falsely filling out a Federal Form(one for each visa) and 140 charges of failure to pay at least the Federal minimum wage. Plus California should also bring 140 charges of failure to pay the state minimum wage. But that would piss off all of the business folks contributing to the super PACs that fund the re-election funds for both parties.
 

viscountalpha

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In North America, you get some bids, and pick the lowest, in europe, they usually avg out the bids and pick the one in the middle.

Completely different frame of thinking
All too often, you get what you pay for. Pick the lowest bid? get the worst product/service out there.
 

viscountalpha

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i bet he knew about it. He's smart and ruthless.
I'm not so sure. I doubt he would want a PR nightmare to happen under his roof. Sounds more like a scummy contractor that should get fined out of existence. I would love to hear that the workers get paid their fair share after all.
 

Nolan7689

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And a good portion of them die before 65................
I sampled from multiple charts there, and the highest I found was asbestost and frost insulation installer at $82 and change per hour with benefits, straight pay.
Heat and Frost insulator here. We don't install asbestos anymore. And far more people are living much longer because of it. Also of note, insulators are different from Asbestos Abatement Workers. They're a whole separate Union and local in most places.

Their wages are so high there because cost of living is also high. Here in Ohio I'm 30/hr plus benefits (about $35 in benefits)for straight time. 1.5 for over 40/ over scheduled time and double time holidays and Sunday's.
 

jevans64

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I wouldn't buy a Tesla if I knew a guy making $5 an hour assembled it but; then again, I have a 4-banger GM that appears to have been slapped together by monkeys.
 

nysmo

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so 94$ an hour on total compensation is local workers? must be unionized lol... no one can afford that shit these days
Yeah, something tells me in no way do sheet metal workers deserve this kind of pay. I was playing at a casino a few weeks ago and this homely looking black dude sits down and starts bragging about how he makes $25/hr as a janitor because he's unionized. About made me puke since thats what I was making maybe 5 years ago as a Systems Analyst.
 

AK0tA

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Yeah thats a lot of money for a sheet metal worker. Sheet metal work is not easy work but wow Cali thats a lot, here in Wv they average $18 hr and bennies about the same for union guys.
 

Ryokurin

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Yeah thats a lot of money for a sheet metal worker. Sheet metal work is not easy work but wow Cali thats a lot, here in Wv they average $18 hr and bennies about the same for union guys.
There probably is a whole lot more people in West Virginia that think it's a respectable job than in California. It's hard to fill those jobs in some areas because everyone there has it in their mind that the only way you can make money is if you have a degree.
 

M76

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I wouldn't buy a Tesla if I knew a guy making $5 an hour assembled it but; then again, I have a 4-banger GM that appears to have been slapped together by monkeys.
Most of the stuff you use was made by people making 5 / day or less in the third world anyway. That's why it's possible for people in first world countries to be paid what they are paid. I wonder what will happen when we run out of third world countries we can exploit for cheap labour.
 

tetris42

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Yeah, something tells me in no way do sheet metal workers deserve this kind of pay. I was playing at a casino a few weeks ago and this homely looking black dude sits down and starts bragging about how he makes $25/hr as a janitor because he's unionized. About made me puke since thats what I was making maybe 5 years ago as a Systems Analyst.
Damn straight, that kind money needs to go back to upper management and stock buybacks where it belongs.
 

lcpiper

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A couple of notes on this. Tesla, paid what ever the contracting firm charged them, which was probably $25 an hour for a general laborer. It was the contracting firm that paid the guy $5 an hour. The guy's B1 said he was a Supervisor with special automotive paint shop construction knowledge and he was being brought over for his expertise. They then used him as a general laborer. His actual trade was an electrician, in his homeland, which is where they get the $52 /hour number from.
Wait a minute, your telling me a sheet metal worker in CA earns $52 which despite what you say Echto, is the listed average wage for a construction worker in the San Jose area, and another $42 in benefits. I used to be a sheet metal worker in Texas and I earned $6 an hour and there were no benefits at all.

Hell, that is a salary of $100K a year plus nice benefits. I don't make near that as a SAN Admin in AZ. Something is fucking wrong with the world.
 

lcpiper

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And a good portion of them die before 65................
The national average mortality rate by profession lists the worst at 80 years of age. Some get killed in work place accidents, usually from electricity or falls. Hell, my old man is over 80, ran a sheet metal business, worked his ass off his entire life, had ulcers, falls, exposure to chemicals, and smokes like a train still to this day. There are jobs that will let a man live longer and construction workers don't have a great mortality rate compared to most other types of work. A good portion of men die before 65 regardless of profession and the truth is, the reasons men die before 65 usually from an accident.

Despite everything we are told about cancer and heart disease, drugs, murder, etc.

The single greatest killer of men and women between age >1 all the way to age 44 is accidental death or more appropriately it's call Unintentional Injury. It starts dropping off after 44 and becomes cancer, heart disease, diabetes, suicide, etc.

The risks of accidental death are certainly greater for construction workers then IT guys, but coincidentally that rate soars starting with age 15 and stays high until 44 and that happens to be the age when young men start doing stupid things while driving, riding vehicles with less than 4 wheels, thinking they know what a firearm is all about when they have no training, and mixing these things with drinking and drugs, or mixing drinking with drugs. These are the things that kill most men when they are young.

What kills them later is either stress or the accumulated result of all that past behavior, and of course women.
 

AK0tA

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There probably is a whole lot more people in West Virginia that think it's a respectable job than in California. It's hard to fill those jobs in some areas because everyone there has it in their mind that the only way you can make money is if you have a degree.
Here in West Virginia our walmarts, grocery stores, Mcdonalds, Lowe's etc are flooded with people with degrees, there is no other work. With the coal mines closed down and no coal being dug times here are bad. They have enough coal on the ground to last 3 years, this has killed our largest source of jobs, coal and railroad.
 

Jagger100

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wait wait wait.... 52 bucks and hour? Holy shit. And that's without the benefits?
.
Unlikely that's what the worker pockets. That probably comprehends payroll tax, workman's comp, Employer portion of Social Security, among other things. Those numbers are from the employer's perspective and not the employee's perspecitve.

That's why employers loves them some black market labor.
 
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