The CEO is known for outsized claims and ambitious goals. But countless factory workers say he doesnt follow through and that his leader specifies a troubling tone
Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, had emailed his entire faculty following the May 2017 publications of separate investigations by the Guardian and a workplace safety organization showing high hurt rates 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 trauma provide information on instantly to me, without exception. I’m meeting with the safety team every week and would like to meet every injured being as soon as they are well, so that I was aware of 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 play-act .”
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 leadership. If only 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 incident was filed ,” said a third Tesla employee, who was injured in October.” If he was truly going to meet with all the employees who got injured, he would be here for half the year .”
Whether Musk ever intended to follow through on his message to meet” every injured person” is an open question. But in conversations with more than 10 current and former Tesla employees over the past month, craftsmen described the consequences of having a boss whose bombastic predicts- to stockholders, to customers and to them- regularly become unfulfilled. While the billionaire’s loose tongue and overly optimistic pronouncements may still excite his legions of love and customers, numerous factory worker is of the opinion that they have become collateral damage.
Of the workers who spoke to the Guardian for this article, six had been injured at work. None of them “ve heard” immediately from Musk or had him perform their task on the assembly line.