Tesla to launch probe into subcontractors working conditions

Elon Musk, the Chief Executive Officer of Tesla Motors has announced that the company will launch an investigation into reports that some of the imported subcontractors were working for less than $5 per hour at its Fremont factory.

The company responded after a media report alleged that the foreign contractors were working for low wages in the factory. The report featured a 42-year-old Slovenian labourer, Gregor Lesnik, who was injured during a factory accident in 2015. The accident as well as the lawsuit and investigation showed that German-based manufacturer,Eisenmann and Slovenian subcontractor, ISM Vuzem provided employment to 140 imported workers to build a paint shop on B-1/B-2 visas at substandard wages. Experts say that the work may also have violated visa regulations as visa holders are not allowed to perform hands-on work generally.

Musk tweeted on Sunday evening that he has just read the allegations. He wrote, "Sounds like the wrong thing happened on many levels. Will investigate and make it right." The company said that it acted legally but also held itself to higher, moral standards. It said that if the persons involved were paid $5 an hour, it is totally unacceptable to the company.

Lesnik's attorney, William Dresser said that he has not contacted Tesla directly but hoped that the company will take right steps. Lesnik returned to Slovenia in 2015 but remains injured and unable to work, according to his lawyer.

Federal officials from the Department of Labor, and from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE have not confirmed if an investigation will be launched into the matter.

 

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