Union Challenges Tesla Working Conditions in Germany

There is a rising fear among workers over speaking out.

IG Metall, a German labor union, has made some serious accusations about working conditions at Tesla's plant in Brandenburg, Germany. According to Reuters, workers say they are working too many hours with few breaks and a rising fear over speaking out about the conditions.

READ MORE: Tesla Opens First European 'Gigafactory' 

IG Metall maintains an office near the facility and has regular contact with staff at the automaker. The union says workers are afraid of discussing the working conditions because of non-disclosure agreements employees signed with their work contracts. 

Stoking the flames of discontent is a new job posting on Tesla's website for a "Security Intelligence Investigator." According to the company's website, these investigators protect Tesla's IP, trade secrets and confidential information by conducting "proactive and reactive investigations." The job description says these individuals will collect information within and beyond the Tesla walls to protect the company from threats; collaborate with technical forensic investigators; and conduct confidential investigations into incidents of data loss and IP theft, technology misuse and conflict of interest. So, essentially Tesla's internal affairs? Either way, it has some employees spooked. 

According to the union, morale is waning as once enthusiastic employees suffer from a lack of faith in the company and time for "leisure, family and recovery."

Local officials are looking into the matter, but neither they nor Tesla have commented on the union's concerns. 

Tesla opened its first European gigafactory outside of Berlin last March. The company plans to have 12,000 workers making 500,000 vehicles a year 

According to the Tesmanian, as of October 2022, the plant had some 7,000 employees making it the largest private employer in Brandenburg.

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