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    Elon Musk Pays Tribute To Chinese Workers - Who Are Not Allowed To Leave Tesla And Sleep On The Factory Floor

    May 25,2022 | Chloe Lacour

    The world's richest man Elon Musk praises the work ethic in China. At the same time, employees are forced to work twelve-hour shifts and are not allowed to leave Tesla's gig factory in Shanghai.

    Tesla boss Elon Musk gives a thumbs up to staff who "do not even leave the factory".

    There are many super-talented hard-working people in China who truly believe in the manufacturing industry, Tesla founder Elon Musk recently told the Financial Times.

    The world's richest man went on to pay tribute to the work ethic of his Chinese factory workers - pointing out Americans as lazy.

    They do not even leave the factory, while people in the United States try to avoid going to work at all.

    Locked on Tesla in China

    But when Musk talked about staff not even "leaving the factory", he failed to mention one thing: The gates to the factory are locked.

    At the end of March, the multimillion-dollar city of Shanghai shut down due to coronal alarms. To secure production, Tesla's giant factory in the city went into a "bubble", reports the business magazine Bloomberg.

    Around 8,000 employees work twelve-hour shifts, six days a week, and sleep on mattresses on the factory floor. No one is allowed to leave the factory to prevent exposure to covid-19, according to an internal document the newspaper has read.

    The employees receive a paid diet and a daily wage supplement corresponding to SEK 600 for the inconvenience. According to Bloomberg, Tesla stands for sleeping bags and mattresses. However, it is not clear whether the employees were offered to stay at the factory - or ordered.

    Extreme overtime norm in China

    Chinese law actually allows for a maximum of 48 working weeks, but the rules are rarely followed.

    Extreme overtime is a kind of built-in feature of the Chinese industrial model. Very long days and mandatory overtime are the norms, even if it is not legal, says Eli Friedman at the American Cornell University's unit for working life issues, to The Guardian.

    All this is done regularly in consultation with the local authorities, which also have the task of ensuring that labor law is complied with.

    Quite rightly, the Chinese authorities have approved the arrangement at Tesla's so-called gig factory in Shanghai.

    Tesla sues critics

    Giga factories are what Tesla calls its largest production facilities. The factory in Shanghai has previously been called a "giga-sweatshop" and accusations of bullying, cheating and lousy conditions have been leveled at Tesla.

    The company has responded by suing the critics.

    According to sources from within Tesla, the workers will not be allowed to return home until mid-June. However, there are plans for them to be allowed to move from the factory floor to special dormitories.


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