Tesla - Musk: "We have to lay off 10,000 people"

The future of Tesla it does not seem as rosy as it emerges from the balance sheets in profits, from the continuous commercial records, from an international expansion without stopping and from a multimillion-dollar stock market valuation: Elon Musk himself thinks, ready to lay off about 10 thousand people. In particular, according to an email collected by the American press, the CEO of the Californian company informed of the need to proceed with the reduction of 10% of workers due to his “bad feeling” about the trend of the economy. Globally, Musk later specified that the cut in the workforce will affect employees and not workers who build the cars, assemble the batteries and install the solar; moreover, the manufacturer plans to use more work by the hour.

Question and answer with Biden. Musk’s announcement was, among other things, one of the topics addressed during a press conference by the President of the United States, Joe Biden. When asked about Musk’s negative hunch, the White House tenant responded first with a joke, wishing the businessman “much luck” on his “trip to the moon”, and then scornfully, recalling the latest investments announced by Intel. , by Stellantis and, above all by Ford, which just yesterday revealed a new project to increase production and jobs in the Midwestern states. Musk’s response was not long in coming: on his Twitter account he wrote a laconic “Thank you Mr. President!”.

Hurricane at the gates. Tesla, which at the end of 2022 had almost 100,000 employees, has also decided to suspend all hiring in every part of the world (to date, the company has 5,000 open positions). The two decisions, preceded by a ‘similar initiative in 2018, when the budgets were at a loss also due to the “production hell” of the Model 3 (then, Musk revealed the cut of 9% of employees), they do not bode well but it must be said that, recently, the the same managing director has spoken several times of a possible economic recession at the gates. “I think we are probably in a recession and that the recession will get worse,” Musk said in mid-May during a conference in Miami Beach. A position reaffirmed a few days ago, when the entrepreneur answered a question from a follower: “It is a recession is coming, but it’s actually a good thing. Money has been raining down on fools for too long. Bankruptcies need to happen ”. However, Musk is not alone in having negative feelings about the global economy: for example, the chief executive of JpMorgan, Jamie Dimon, spoke of “a hurricane coming”.

The controversy. Certainly, the cuts will only rekindle the controversy over the management of the workforce by the South African-born entrepreneur: a few days ago an email with which Musk lashed out against smart working and intimated all the executives of return to the office, inviting them to work on-site at least 40 hours each week: “Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week. If you do not show up, we will conclude that you have resigned ”. Communication quickly became the subject of criticism and debate: the advocate of new technologies was accused of being a retrograde when it comes to new forms of work. Yet, Musk does nothing but publicize the new achievements in various fields of innovation: in this regard, just today, he announced that he had moved the AI ​​Day from 19 August to 30 September to be able to present “a working prototype” of Optimus, the humanoid robot resulting from Tesla’s work in the field of autonomous driving and artificial intelligence.

The European reactions. Certainly, the cuts will not be easy to make in Europe. In the Netherlands, where the company has its mainland headquarters, the unions are already on a war footing. “Musk cannot simply lay off Dutch workers,” said the FNV union, recalling the need to open negotiations with the works council on any redundancies. In Germany, then, relations have already been worn out for some time despite Tesla’s industrial activities at the gates of Berlin have left a few months ago. The no to smart working was also received in a decidedly negative way by Ig Metall, the powerful union of German metalworkers: “Whoever disagrees with these unilateral demands and wants to oppose, has the power of the unions behind them, as expected. From law”. Musk is no stranger to strained relationships with employee representatives. In the United States he has always opposed any representation within his plants and in Germany he has tried, unsuccessfully, to block the establishment of a works council. The current 4,000 workers of Grünheide (on paper they should increase to 12,000) voted in favor of the creation of the body, appointing 19 of their representatives.

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