Prolific German union IG Metall recently criticized Tesla Germany over allegations of excessive working hours. The union also noted that workers are afraid of speaking out at the company’s Brandenburg plant, Gigafactory Berlin.
The allegations were shared by the union at its annual news conference. IG Metall has an office near Giga Berlin, and the union stated that an increasing number of workers have reported longer working hours and limited free time. IG Metall also claimed that it is in regular contact with workers at Gigafactory Berlin, Reuters noted in a report.
The union further claimed that workers at Giga Berlin have reported a growing fear of openly discussing their working conditions due to non-disclosure agreements they were required to sign as a part of their work contracts. Similar non-disclosure agreements have been signed by Tesla employees in other parts of the world, such as China, as per sources cited by the publication.
In a statement, Irene Schulz of IG Metall Berlin-Brandenburg-Sachsen noted that Tesla Germany is not doing enough to ensure that its workers have optimal working conditions.
“Workers started at Tesla with great enthusiasm for the project. Over time, we are observing that this enthusiasm is withering. Tesla is not doing enough to improve working conditions and is leaving too little time for leisure, family, and recovery,” Schulz said.
Local politicians from the center-left SPD to the center-right CDU have expressed concerns about IG Metall’s allegations. Christian Baeumler of the Christian Democrats (CDU), for one, called for the Brandenburg government to look into the alleged issues at Giga Berlin. “The state government of Brandenburg must enforce occupational safety through close controls at Tesla,” Baeumler said.
Tesla Germany has not issued a comment about the matter as of writing. Teslarati has asked Tesla for comment and will update this article if we receive a response.