According to a recent report by Wired, a current Tesla employee has come forward to voice concerns about the situation at one of the electric automaker's newest factories. The employee claims that Giga Berlin is experiencing a myriad of labor-related issues and is in "total chaos."
We've heard and read many stories like this related to Tesla, as well as other automakers. While we can't put a lot of weight on a story from a single anonymous source, it does pique our interest. As such, we'll be keeping a close eye on the happenings at Giga Berlin going forward.
Tesla's Giga Berlin is a relatively new factory that has yet to fully ramp up. Tesla faced all sorts of delays and adversity related to the factory ever since it broke ground. Not only were locals concerned about the environmental impact of the factory, but also, Tesla was moving into the home of its primary German luxury competitors, which the US carmaker has already proven it can outsell.
Regardless of the past or any potentially related stories, the reported problems are linked to recruiting, hiring, and retaining productive workers. This seems to be a problem at companies across the globe, with even local businesses in the US posting hiring signs for many months yet remaining short-staffed. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that it's simply difficult to find enough good workers these days.
That said, Tesla is hiring waves of employees at both Giga Berlin and Giga Texas. It hopes to have some 10,000 workers at each factory. According to the anonymous employee in Germany who allegedly spoke with Wired, Tesla is struggling to fill job positions, employees are leaving shortly after being hired, and some of the workers that remain in their positions are out sick often and seemingly unmotivated. The employee reportedly shared with Wired via Electrek:
"Some people are off sick longer than they’ve actually worked. There are people who I haven’t seen working for three weeks in six months. Many people are signed off sick because the motivation isn’t there,” they say, blaming poor working conditions. The exits involve temporary staff and permanent employees who have been there for over a year, hired before the gigafactory opened, they claim."
Electrek notes that Tesla already has some 7,500 workers at the Gigafactory in Germany. The publication also points to just 400 open positions. It seems the EV maker has moved to recruit employees from areas outside of Germany, with some 10 percent of the current staff living in another country. Many are reportedly coming from Poland.
Tesla confirmed in October that Giga Berlin was able to produce 2,000 Model Y crossovers per week. The company hasn't provided a more recent update, but the goal is to ramp up to 5,000 copies per week. The automaker hoped to make that happen prior to the end of the year.
We'll have to wait and see if Tesla updates its Giga Berlin production capacity in the near future. Meanwhile, we'll be keeping a close eye on the situation at Giga Berlin to try to learn if the employee's concerns are substantiated.