Musk strikes again | Shocking revelations of racism and 12-hour shifts reveal what life is like inside Tesla

Shocking revelations of racism and 12-hour shifts reveal what life is like inside Tesla

There’s no doubt that Tesla has established itself as a trailblazing force, rewriting the rules and reshaping an entire sector under the leadership of Elon Musk.

However, it seems that such innovation has come at the expense of its workers’ wellbeing and health.

A recent exposé has shone a worrying light on the lesser-known aspects of the Tesla narrative, revealing a workplace culture allegedly characterised by extreme demands and alarming working conditions.

According to past employees, Musk's unrelenting pursuit of perfection often comes at the expense of his workers. He infamously recently demanded that his employees go "ultra-hardcore" in trying to deliver his vision. In other words, push themselves beyond their comfort zones.

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Recently, several stories have emerged of ex-employees who have recounted their experiences within Tesla. Huibert Mees, a former chief engineer on the Model S suspension, recently shared with The Verge the all-encompassing nature of the work at the car manufacturer.

"It became all-consuming. You put in the hours and it was weekends and it was eight, nine, ten at night every night," Mees revealed.

His experiences seem to correlate with those of other anonymous employees, who previously reported having to complete ‘marathon’ shifts exceeding 12 hours and cases of workers collapsing from dehydration.

One harrowing account recounts an employee's leg being crushed by a car on the assembly line, raising further questions over the firm’s health and safety procedures. Fires and sewage pipe bursts that left workers wading through waste paint a picture that contrasts starkly with Tesla's image as an innovator.

The Verge’s investigation also unveiled alarming statistics related to worker safety at Tesla's Fremont, California plant. Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations were reportedly three times higher than the combined total of ten other US car factories, a staggering revelation that points to further systemic issues within Tesla's operations.

Equally as worrying are allegations of racist and sexist abuse levied at workers of colour and women. “My supervisor called me the n-word right in front of other co-workers,” said Melvin Berry, who worked as a supervisor at Tesla from 2015 to 2016. “And when I heard it, I had to make sure I heard what I heard.”

While Tesla adamantly denies these accusations, they remain a stark reminder that even within a culture of innovation, human rights and inclusion must remain paramount.

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