Tesla Giga Texas construction workers plan to file a complaint with the Department of Labor on Tuesday, claiming they were forced to work in unsafe conditions and still have unpaid wages dating back to last Thanksgiving.
At the site, various whistleblowers claim labor, employment, and wage violations while working at Tesla’s production facility located just outside Austin.
Construction workers at the site state that subcontractors falsified necessary credentials and did not require workers to complete job training that would inform them of health, safety, and workers’ rights.
Workers also stated they were forced to work in unsafe conditions with flooded floors and exposed wiring, with one worker telling his wife, “I am going to die in this factory.”
“Every day, there was a safety issue,” one worker told The Guardian, who initially reported the story.
Meanwhile, others that have worked on the site claim they have been victims of wage theft and haven’t received adjusted paychecks for working through last Thanksgiving while being away from their families. Workers expected double-pay bonuses for working the holiday but say they have not received this compensation almost a year later.
While the subcontractors allegedly skipped necessary job training and other measures to ensure workers were prepared, workers feel as if Tesla, the owner of the entire project, should have been more involved in workers’ rights. A staff attorney for the Workers Defense Project, a non-profit helping the workers said the automaker “didn’t seem — interested in using their power to ensure everyone was able to go home at the end of the day without injuries.”
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Tesla has experienced claims of mistreatment at its factories. Over the past several years, Tesla has fended off numerous lawsuits related to workplace conditions.
The company’s production facility in Fremont, California, has been linked to racial abuse claims. Fremont has also had numerous OSHA violations related to record-keeping. From 2014 to 2018, Tesla had three times as many OSHA violations as the ten largest U.S. auto manufacturing facilities combined, The Drive reported.
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