Based on a report published by Bloomberg, Tesla might have to up its worker wages in Germany. The US electric automaker hopes to hire a massive wave of employees as its new factory near Berlin ramps up production. The country's largest union – IG Metall – says hiring thousands of workers may be a challenge if wages aren't fair.
IG Metall has reportedly received complaints from workers at Tesla's Giga Berlin. Some employees have called the pay at Tesla inadequate, or at least not fair in comparison to what rivals pay. IG Metall's analysis suggests that Tesla's skilled laborers in Germany are making about 20 percent less than workers at other factories, though the factories that are paying more already have wage agreements with IG Metall.
Tesla says over 3,000 people are currently working at the factory in Gruenheide, and it plans to hire many more going forward. In fact, the electric carmaker anticipates employing some 12,000 workers at Giga Berlin when vehicle production is at full capacity and it's producing batteries at the site as well. However, the union claims hiring isn't off to a very good start.
A regional boss at IG Metall Birgit Dietze shared in a statement that Tesla's recruitment:
“... isn’t progressing at the planned speed. Many people would be interested in switching to Tesla, but ultimately decide against it, also because they sometimes earn considerably more in their current positions at other automotive companies.”
It's important to note that Tesla's CEO Elon Musk recently told employees that some job shifting is coming. It was originally reported that Tesla may pause hiring and cut staff by 10 percent due to Musk's uncertainty about the economy. However, Musk clarified that Tesla's headcount will increase while the salaried employee count should remain flat.
This basically means that Tesla must hire workers for its new factories, but the company is overstaffed in some areas. Some salaried employees and executives will likely be laid off while the automaker is hiring people to work in its factories. Reports have already started to surface that Tesla is laying off employees, and some are already suing the automaker for the lack of warning.
We'll have to wait and see how this all plays out. Tesla hasn't officially responded to requests for comment on the matter. We have no idea of Tesla's official plans for hiring at Giga Berlin. If it's attempting to hire more workers and not having any success, that's one thing. On the other hand, if Tesla isn't yet ramped up enough with production, or the company is taking its time with hiring due to the economic situation, that's a different story.