The CEO is known for outsized claims and ambitious goals. But several factory worker say he doesnt follow through and that his leadership adjusts a troubling tone
Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, had emailed his entire personnel following the May 2017 publications of separate investigations by the Guardian and a workplace safety organization showing high-pitched injury charges at the company’s northern California electric car factory.
” No texts can express how much I care about your safety and wellbeing ,” Musk wrote.” Going forward, I’ve asked that every hurt be reported instantly to me, without exception. I’m meeting with the safety team every week and would like to meet every injured party as soon as they are well, so that I can understand from them exactly what we need to do to make it better. I will then go down to the production line and perform the same task that they perform .”
Musk, an accountability Houdini, had turned the facts of the case that some of his employees were dealing with life-changing injuries into brightening press about his leader. If simply his promises were true.
” He didn’t meet with me ,” said Richard Ortiz, a former Tesla factory worker who was injured at work in July 2017.
” That’s PR; that’s bologna ,” said another current Tesla employee, who said Musk had never met with him about the three pinched nerves in his arm.
” He didn’t meet with me, and my happen was registered ,” said a third Tesla employee, who was injured in October.” If he was truly going to meet with all the employees who got disabled, he would be here for half its first year .”
Whether Musk ever intended to follow through on his word to meet” every disabled party” is an open question. But in conversations with more than 10 current and former Tesla employees over the past month, workers described the consequences of having a boss whose bombastic hopes- to shareholders, to customers and to them- often croak unfulfilled. While the billionaire’s loose tongue and overly optimistic pronouncements may still excite his forces of fans and purchasers, numerous factory worker feel that they have become collateral injury.
Of the workers who spoke to the Guardian for this article, six had been injured at work. None of them never heard directly from Musk or had him perform their task on the assembly line.