Tesla To Pay Average Of $25 Per Hour For Gigafactory Jobs

MAY 4 2015 BY MIKE ANTHONY 12

Reports state that Tesla Motors will be paying employees (about 6,500) an average of $25 / hour at the upcoming “Gigafactory”.

However, Tesla denies the accuracy of these reports. Tesla Spokeswoman, Khobi Brooklyn stated:

Tesla Gigafactory - Image Via Steve Jurvetson

Tesla Gigafactory – Image Via Steve Jurvetson

“We did submit an application to the state of Nevada last October which included projections of average hourly wage costs for its operational workforce that were informed by regional wage trends.”

It’s claimed that Tesla employees who build the Model S in Fremont, CA start at $17 / hour.

Once more, the word “average” is stamped all over this. Out of 6,500 people, lots will make more than $25 per hour and some less.

A Reno newspaper reported that nearly 5,000 gigafactory employees will start at just under $23 / hour, while techs will be ~$28, and Engineers and / or top-end staff will be over $41 / hour. So, perhaps this average $25 per hour number will be accurate.

The CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, Mike Kazmierski, mentioned that the $25 dollar figure is increasing what other employers near Reno, NV are paying.

Kazmierski adds: 

“Three years ago, a support call center paid $10, $11, $12 an hour… We’re basically saying, if you’re not paying $12 to $15 an hour, you probably will go somewhere else. That’s part of the reason why we talk retention of workforce as a priority for us.”

Professor and labor economist at the University of California Berkeley, Harley Shaiken stated:

“The battery is key to the future of Tesla as a mass market producer. On one hand they want to attract the best and the brightest, but on the other we don’t know what the benefits are.”

The director of the labor and industry group at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Kristin Dziczek stated that this average hourly pay is likely to not cause any raises for Detroit’s Big 3 employees (Ford, GM, Chrysler), as many of them are union workers, while Tesla employees are not.  Dziczek did state that Tesla is paying its employees more than LG Chem, producer and assembler of lithium-ion batteries.

Source: Detroit Free Press

Categories: Tesla

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12 Comments on "Tesla To Pay Average Of $25 Per Hour For Gigafactory Jobs"

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$50K/year isn’t exactly high paying job.

Sure, it might be more than what LG Chem is paying in Asia. But $50K is just okay.

If Tesla does the same factory across the border in California, it would need at least $70K to $80K per person/yr….

it is in NV

Hey what do you think about 13.50 an hour ? That’s what they just started a lot of us at for oct 12. What do you say about profitability now?

One reason Tesla chose Nevada as the site for the Gigafactory is that it’s a “right to work” state. In other words, Tesla can set up a non-union shop there. And of course, living costs and wages in the area are generally lower than in coast States like California and New York.

Whether Tesla’s ability to set up the Gigafactory as a non-union shop is a good thing or a bad thing, of course, depends on your viewpoint. But it’s certainly good for Tesla’s profitability.

Anyone who wants to compare Elon Musk to Henry Ford might want to remember that Hank Ford tripled Detroit industrial wages and instituted a 5-day week, then brought down the price of a Model T from $43K in today’s money to less than $4K.

Ford committed lots of sins along the way, but Elon Musk is no Henry Ford.

Ford introduced higher wages for auto assembly workers only to bring an end to a growing movement to unionize the Ford auto assembly plant. He instituted multiple shifts work because the workers, forced to work longer and longer hours on a single shift, were on the verge of rebellion.

In other words, Ford didn’t institute changes favorable to labor out of any sense of generosity or sympathy for his workers. It was purely self-interest, with the successful goal of shutting out the union movement from his business, at least for a time.

Ford also instituted massive vertical integration and local sourcing at its River Rouge industrial complex. Tesla is trying to do the same thing with its Gigafactory.

There are a lot more similarities here than you realize, CP.

All true. Without going into too much detail Henry Ford was not nice man. A visionary, a driven industrialist, a man on a mission, much like Musk, in that sense. Though I think their overall philosophy of what constitutes good, and for whom, is quite different.

I think I made fairly clear that I never regard Hank Ford as a nice guy. By the way, when he started the company there was little danger from unions. Whatever his motives, there is no doubt that he dramatically raised the standard of living for his workers prior to the Great Depression.

He did this while dramatically cutting production costs per unit and then passing a large share of those reductions through to not only emploees but customers, making cars affordable to the masses and dramatically improving the quality of life for millions of people.

Elon Musk sells Rolexes with tires and sweeps a few crumbs to his employees. He’s not even fit to walk in Hank Ford;’s shadow.

That’s true, in many ways Musk is superior to Henry Ford. For example Ford, as late as 1927, was certain the Model T was the still the perfect car and needed no improvement. Eventually more forward looking family members convinced him to produce the Model A, another fine vehicle. Still Tesla is an innovative car company which Ford was for a brief time, but while Ford became recalcitrant and backward looking, Tesla is anything but, already producing the Model D with substantial improvements over the Model S, in just a few years after its inital release.

I certainly agree with the thrust of your post here, but one quibble: 1927 was the last year of production for the Model T. Obviously by that time, even Henry Ford had to acknowledge that its time had passed.

Tesla needs to pay above average hourly wages to attract workers to the middle of nowhere.

i think you’ll find most people working there will be agerage renoans.