Energy

Union Demands Higher Wages To Build Elon Musk’s Tesla Gigafactory

(REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter

Construction workers building Elon Musk’s Tesla gigafactory in Nevada went on strike Monday.

Union officials said that 350 workers walked off the site due to low wages of $12 to $14 per hour.

“Hopefully Tesla gets the message as far as the substandard wages problem that needs to get fixed,” Eloy Jaram, a representative for Laborers Union Local 169, told This Is Reno. “Most of the union guys walked out. [They] walked out of the job.”

The union has repeatedly complained that Telsa outsourced some jobs to a third party, non-union contractor.

“The union is also claiming that this contractor is somehow favoring out of state workers,” an unidentified source from Tesla’s official press email account told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “In reality, more than 50% of the workers used by this contractor and more than 75% of the entire Gigafactory workforce are Nevada residents, demonstrating the project’s strong commitment to Nevada.”

Musk received $1.4 billion from Nevada taxpayers for the factory in 2014. In exchange for the subsidies, Nevada requires at least 50 percent of employees be from the state — Tesla claims it exceeded that mark.

The gigafactory will produce lithium-ion batteries and is projected to cost $5 billion. The factory is expected to be operational by 2017. Tesla only sells only a few models of car, and hasn’t recorded an annual profit.

SolarCity, another company chaired by Musk, also got a large amount of money to move to Nevada, but withdrew from the state in December after the state government created policies unfavorable to the company.

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