Tesla Factory Workers Reveal Pain, Injury, and Stress

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Megalith, May 19, 2017 at 9:14 AM.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Reports of Tesla’s poor factory conditions are ramping up again. Musk has defended himself by saying that safety records are seeing improvement but admits that his workers are having a difficult time. He also notes that his company is a money-losing one despite its high value, suggesting that certain sacrifices need to be made. Some of the allegations include mandatory overtime, high rates of injury, and low wages.

    Musk’s account of the company’s approach differs from that of the 15 current and former factory workers who told the Guardian of a culture of long hours under intense pressure, sometimes through pain and injury, in order to fulfill the CEO’s ambitious production goals. “I’ve seen people pass out, hit the floor like a pancake and smash their face open,” said Jonathan Galescu, a production technician at Tesla. “They just send us to work around him while he’s still lying on the floor.” He was one of several workers who said they had seen co-workers collapse or be taken away in ambulances.
     
  2. 5150Joker

    5150Joker 2[H]4U

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    Time to move the assembly plants to Vietnam.
     
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  3. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, factory work kind of sucks. That's one of many reasons we automate. Same goes for mining, farming, construction, and any other repetitive work.

    I have three crews of ten, that's thanks to increasingly capable equipment. Fifty years ago a guy building log homes would have around double that.

    It just sucks when you're being automated out of a job and education doesn't pay anything, plus it costs a fortune so you can't upgrade. Your family has to eat.
     
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  4. Mong00se

    Mong00se [H]Lite

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    I can't help but think of the trans contenental rail road, industrial revolution, great Wall of China, the space program (most of the engineering came from Nazi scientists), all the medical knowledge attained by the nazis, ect.

    In no way am I saying these people chosen and forced sacrifices were just. However the end results were vastly accelerated andvancments and progress. At least in this case no one is forcing them to work for Tesla.
     
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  5. 5150Joker

    5150Joker 2[H]4U

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    Yeah my cousin is involved in construction and over the last ten years he's been slashing his crew numbers thanks to more efficient equipment and premade stuff that they just assemble on site. Even in healthcare we're seeing a dramatic shift that will offset the need for many lower level clerks and maybe someday NP.
     
  6. EODetroit

    EODetroit Gawd

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  7. 5150Joker

    5150Joker 2[H]4U

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    Unfortunately Americans want to have their pie and eat it too. UAW should be outlawed as the only people who benefit from that scam are the ones at the top. The end result is the same, the workers lose their jobs and the factory ends up in a third world country. You can't demand exorbitant pay and benefits for being an assembly line monkey while also expecting the company to sustain those losses in a very competitive market.

    Right now Tesla is losing money while still selling to a high margin premium market, what's going to happen when they offer lower margin mass produced cars? Guess Musk will have to become the inevitable villain and build those in Mexico or elsewhere.
     
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  8. kju1

    kju1 Gawd

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    Oh woe is me my work is hard! Get off it. There are federal regulations involving factories and safety requirements. If Tesla was unsafe they wouldnt be in operation. https://www.osha.gov/law-regs.html
     
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  9. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    This sounds like repetitive stress type of injuries instead of injuries that would occur at auto plants decades in the past. Guy said he injured his neck while installing a tire, but he believes all the looking up is what did it?

    Some part of me wonders how bad it really is, because every injured worker costs them money in the long run. Gone are the days where you fire someone because they can't do their job anymore due to an injury suffered while working. There are thousands of workers in one plant, yet only a few complaints to the media?
     
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  10. mygreeneggsandham

    mygreeneggsandham n00bie

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    That is why these jobs need to all be done by robots.
     
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  11. otherweeb

    otherweeb Limp Gawd

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    But...American Manufacturing! and Great Again. We need to vastly increasing our share of disposable factory workers.
     
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  12. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|Gawd

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    Good thing you don't need to feed your family with one of those jobs huh?
     
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  13. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    So it's much better if we move this work over seas,pay people 1/10 the wage, and let the Americans go on welfare?

    If you don't like your job, then find a different one. Or is it they don't want to level because the pay/benefits is better than any other comparable job they can find?

    If you don't want to do this level of physical work, then get an education and work at a job that requires you to use your brain instead.
     
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  14. GaryJohnson

    GaryJohnson [H]ard|Gawd

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    It's not good for the people overseas, but that's actually great for us. All the money we save buying the cheaper overseas stuff we can use to educate the person over here without a job and put him to work producing the high-level services that we can actually export and make a profit on.
     
  15. kju1

    kju1 Gawd

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    Get a new job. Problem solved.
     
  16. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|Gawd

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    Good idea, can I have yours?
     
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  17. Teenyman45

    Teenyman45 [H]ard|Gawd

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    The most amazing thing to me about this article is it shows how successful Musk has been about rewriting history and people thinking that he started Tesla.
     
  18. Draax

    Draax [H]ardness Supreme

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    If workers complained, took time off, and didn't buck up, during WW2, as much as they do today, we would all be speaking German.
     
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  19. jpm100

    jpm100 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yes, we need to accelerate the arrival of the Socialist Dystopia.
     
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  20. Shintai

    Shintai 2[H]4U

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    Those factory workers will soon be replaced anyway by robots. But I do feel sorry for their current stress level to meet demand.
     
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  21. otherweeb

    otherweeb Limp Gawd

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    (edit: actually type the msg, duh)

    While I whole heartedly agree with the sentiment and believe that's the optimal route, it defies the national rhetoric these days. If we're going to do more dirty work more people must get dirty.
     
  22. otherweeb

    otherweeb Limp Gawd

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    ...on the East coast. Gōi shita?
     
  23. kju1

    kju1 Gawd

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    Go for it. If you think you can do a better job. Others have tried to take it and failed because they cant perform.
     
  24. Gasaraki_

    Gasaraki_ Limp Gawd

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    Look. I see both sides of the coin.

    Workers have the freedom to move from a job they don't like to another one. If the pay to too low or the work is too hard please go find another job. If you are injured the company should be doing the right thing. This is a factory job, if the pay increases too much they will just replace you with robots that don't get injured and don't need rest, don't need healthcare.

    People also want a job and make enough to take care of their family and companies should try to hire as much people as possible instead of putting in robots. However they need to make a profit also.

    I sense that the lack of jobs for people in the world will be a big issue as time goes on.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017 at 11:51 AM
  25. oROEchimaru

    oROEchimaru [H]ardness Supreme

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    The part that does not make sense to me (and I'm a huge fan)...
    a. cost of living is high... of course wages will be low for factory jobs
    b. the cost of realestate is high... of course the cost to run the factory will be high due to the high costs to have a factory on premium land.

    So my question from someone that loves economics... why did they build a factory in an expensive "land" / tax area and with high costs of living (wages are low) ?

    They could have build the mega factory in the same state in other cheaper regions (Fresno, about 50-70% cheaper) with a lower living expense (again half) or even in other states where its 75%+ cheaper . Therefore the "incomes" would of been higher even if the wages were the same (cost of living is lower) and the cost to run the factory would have been lower because the land would have been cheap.
     
  26. kju1

    kju1 Gawd

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    They didnt build it, they bought an unused car factory. My guess is they probably got incentives to keep the business in the state, a good deal on the building/contents, and geographical proximity to their other operations is likely a nice bonus. I am sure they did, or should have if they didnt, a cost benefit analysis and determined this was the right away forward.
     
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  27. Gasaraki_

    Gasaraki_ Limp Gawd

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    Yeah, now I got a feeling that they will first build another factory in some cheap southern state and then eventually shut this one down or ROBOTS.
     
  28. oROEchimaru

    oROEchimaru [H]ardness Supreme

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    I hear ya! Overall doesnt seem like the best place to build a "low cost, high living wage... but low overall wage" factory to toot efficiency. It does paint the image of "bleeding edge from silicon valley"... Now if he can do all his other projects like solar farm + automated transportation and pass on the savings or services to employees that would be cool.
     
  29. Azamar

    Azamar n00bie

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    Musk has been very clear that the path forward is automation on a level not yet seen in vehicle manufacturing. He wants the only workers present to maintain the robots and has said it will look like an "Alien Dreadnaught. Here is a good article on the Tesla vision for manufacturing.
     
  30. Goodlookinguy

    Goodlookinguy n00bie

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    These are not allegations, these are blatant facts. My close friend works for Tesla as a higher up position (because of a degree) than just one of the drones, but even he has to work 12 hours, 5 days a week. It's not an option. The contract he signed obligates him to do so. Even with his degree he's being underpaid what someone with his degree should get paid. The wage is a joke, but he needs it right now because of his wife and son.
     
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  31. Biznatch

    Biznatch [H]ard|Gawd

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    The best part was the factory workers talking down about the 'nerds' (devs/engineers) sitting at their desks.... Maybe they should have picked a skilled profession? But us nerds have our own set of issues from sitting at desks all day typing...
     
  32. Staples

    Staples [H]ardness Supreme

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    All these "new" tech companies are shitty to work for it seems.

    Amazon
    Uber
    Tesla

    I am sure there are lots more.
     
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  33. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

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    welcome to most factory workers.. sadly most of them aren't educated enough and have been in the line of work for most of their lives so they have no idea what it's like working an actual shitty job. i deal with it all the time at my work.. mandatory over time.. oh i feel so bad for you making 27 dollars an hour.. and getting a 3000 dollar paycheck every 2 weeks while having the best benefits package available in the industry.. people don't realize just how much more money they're making for what little education they have compared to people working shitty retail jobs with the same education level. i'm sorry but most factory jobs aren't any harder than working at walmart and mcdonalds for minimum wage so people need to quit their bitching.
     
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  34. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    OMG! Pain, injury and stress working in a factory? This has to be made up...

    Manufacturers have no responsibility to make a job comfortable, they only need safety protocols in place. As far as the injuries go, 99.99% of the time it is the workers fault for not following such protocols.

    How many factories have you worked in? That statement is delusional.

    I worked in a factory once that was about four blocks from my house and almost collapsed on several occasions on my walk home (I don't drive due to my vision) because my back was giving out. I have never seen, nor heard about, anything like that happening to anybody, ever, in fast food or retail.

    Oh, you mean intellectually it isn't any harder?

    Since people seem to base their "value" on their brain, lets point something out: The stress and anxiety a person experiences in a "thinking" job is also a delusion - it is caused by fear of something that doesn't exist. Stress and anxiety are reactions to a perceived physical danger; in the case of it happening in a nice safe office, it is our instincts firing when they shouldn't be (the downfall of being animals with the ability to intellectualize). On the other hand, physical labor is actual physical stress. So let's call it even on that one because people in general can't be expected to take control of their minds.

    Thinking vs Labor... which is harder?

    Well, all I can say about that is, I've done things that would make most IT people cry like little babies and quit their job because they can't handle it. And that's not even just the physical part - it takes an incredible amount of mental discipline to stand there thinking all day when it's got nothing to do with what you're doing (go stand in an empty room for 12 hours (without any gadgets! lol) and you'll know what I mean).

    Why is this the case? Because when you do the exact same thing as much as several thousand times a day, your muscle memory takes over and the mind is no longer involved (kind of like driving).

    Although I think Tesla workers are probably just being little whiney bitches, I've been on both sides of the fence, and one isn't any easier than the other.

    But then there's the whole risking life and limb every second you're on the job thing, but lets pretend life has no value for the sake of this banter.

    As far as "value" goes, guess what? No labor, no product, no company to give a $30M check to the CEO. So who's worth more? I'm gonna call it a draw.
     
  35. wizzi01

    wizzi01 Gawd

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    How long ago was that? Most auto factories have air powered lifts that do the lifting. All the workers have to do is line up the parts.
     
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  36. mesyn191

    mesyn191 2[H]4U

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    Well that isn't quite true.

    These people are working under these conditions probably because they have no other choice, since without money you're pretty screwed in the US.

    After all, no one chooses willingly to be mistreated, overworked, and underpaid.

    And any of the advancements you mentioned could have been under far less awful circumstances as well. Probably more cheaply and easily at that.
     
  37. mesyn191

    mesyn191 2[H]4U

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    Yes actually.

    Why should anyone be forced to sell their labor if they won't be paid well enough to live a decent life? Especially if that labor is demanding and/or dangerous? And has little to no means for retirement or compensation in the case of injury?

    edit: Bear in mind it used to be normal, up until around the late 70's, for jobs to offer good pay that went up with the rate of inflation and defined benefit pensions too so don't tell me its impossible at all today to do the same. Yes companies' profits will suffer some...but they'll still make money. Companies' made money back then too.

    In today's, or even the last few decades's, economy this is pretty poor advice since that isn't really viable as a general case option. Finding another job can take months easily and current jobs rarely pay enough to allow a worker to save enough money to last that long without income. You know quite well that most people are just 1 missed pay check away from losing everything. And due to the high costs of living its almost impossible for them to save any money by reducing their quality of life too.

    College is incredibly expensive and even with a degree its still quite hard to find a job. Much less a decent paying job. It isn't the 70's anymore.
     
  38. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Oh geez... 15 years ago? But, it's not necessarily heavy lifting, it's repetitive stress. Even with nothing in your hands you can only bend down and stand back up so many times in a day before your body starts to object. Do it day after day and eventually you end up with a permanent injury.

    This is especially true with repetitive wrist movement. Kind of like with keyboard/mouse RPS, but accelerated and much worse. With keyboarding and using the mouse at least you can stop and shake your hands out or take a 10-15 second break; a lot of factory work you don't have that opportunity - you constantly work at high-speed until break time (you'd be lucky in some cases to be able to stop to scratch your nose). There's no going over to the water cooler and having a chat for a few minutes or anything like that.

    Automotive factory work does appear to be easier than in most other factories (at least the ones I've worked in). You can thank the UAW for that.
     
  39. wizzi01

    wizzi01 Gawd

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    I used to look down manholes and look up while moving the boom all day long while controlling a truck cleaning sewers. I used to do industrial cleaning also. I've seen all types of stuff at factories and you are making it out to be way worse than it is.
     
  40. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Look up and down? Did you do it 120 times a minute? Or with 20lbs of weight on your head?

    I'm not making anything out to be worse than it is (and I have two fucked up wrists to prove it). Come to the midwest (I say midwest because once you head far enough south or west people start getting slow as hell) and get a job in a factory and come back and give me your opinion after being there for six months.