The world’s largest electric car manufacturer wants to lay off 3.5 percent of its employees. While the first employees in the USA are suing the group, the effects on the Grünheide plant are unclear.
Tesla, the world’s largest electric car maker, is cutting thousands of production jobs out of concern about a global economic slowdown. The dismantling will be completed in the next three months, company boss Elon Musk announced on Tuesday at the Qatar Economic Forum. It is about ten percent of wage-earning employees, which corresponds to 3.5 percent of the total workforce. At the end of 2021, the US group employed 100,000 people worldwide, so more than 3,000 would be affected.
The Tesla boss had already informed internally about the plans at the beginning of June. In an email available to Reuters, he justified this with a “super bad feeling” about economic development. A recession is possible in the near future, he said now. The US electric car pioneer wanted to maintain the record level of sales at the start of the year of 310,000 vehicles in the second quarter. Lockdowns in China have recently increasingly slowed down production at the Shanghai plant.
What the dismantling plans mean for the German Tesla plant in Grünheide in Brandenburg remained open. The job creation is going on there. A company spokesman was initially unavailable. At the weekend, the IG Metall trade union pointed out that the workforce in Grünheide was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with wages that were too low and unequal. That is why the recruitment of new employees is not progressing as quickly as planned. “Tesla wants to have around 12,000 employees on board by the end of the year. In order to achieve this goal, the management will soon have to step up their pay,” said Birgit Dietze, head of the IG Metall district of Berlin-Brandenburg-Saxony. According to the union, the pay is up to 20 percent lower than the standard wages at competing car manufacturers in the region. In the meantime, the Tesla factory management has switched to offering more for new hires.
The job cuts that have apparently begun in the USA are already causing trouble. In Texas, Tesla is being pilloried over suspicion of mass layoffs without notice. Two former workers said they were summarily fired at the Sparks gigafactory in June, according to the lawsuit filed Monday. According to this, Tesla put more than 500 employees on the street this month. According to US labor law, a 60-day notice period is required for such a mass layoff. “Tesla merely notified employees that their terminations would be effective immediately,” the lawsuit reads. The fired employees are pursuing a class action lawsuit.