Tesla Gigafactory Berlin in ‘total chaos,’ says worker in report about labor issues

Tesla Gigafactory Berlin is reportedly in “total chaos,” according to a factory employee talking to Wired in a report highlighting labor issues at the factory.

The automaker is currently trying to simultaneously ramp up production at Gigafactory Texas and Gigafactory Berlin, both massive factories by any standard.

Tesla plans to have over 10,000 workers at each plant.

Hiring efforts on that scale are extremely difficult to execute, and now Wired reports that Tesla “can’t hire enough people, or keep them” at Gigafactory Berlin.

The publication describes a situation where Tesla has issues filing positions, retaining employees, and a high level of absenteeism at the factory.

One employee told Wired:

One current employee, who requested anonymity out of fear of losing their job, describes the Berlin gigafactory as “chaos.” “Some people are off sick longer than they’ve actually worked. There are people who I haven’t seen working for three weeks in six months. Many people are signed off sick because the motivation isn’t there,” they say, blaming poor working conditions. The exits involve temporary staff and permanent employees who have been there for over a year, hired before the gigafactory opened, they claim.

Tesla reportedly has 7,500 employees working at Gigafactory Berlin, and it currently has almost 400 open positions at the plant.

Interestingly, Tesla has gone outside of Germany to try to fill positions – almost 10% of workers are from outside the country, mostly from Poland. Gigafactory Berlin is only about an hour away from the German/Polish border.

Tesla is currently trying to achieve a production rate of 5,000 Model Y vehicles per week at the factory, a goal that Tesla has been aiming to achieve by the end of the year.

In October, Tesla confirmed that it achieved a production of 2,000 units per week, but it hasn’t updated the production capacity since.

Tesla Gigafactory Berlin 2,000 Model Y

Electrek’s Take

Top comment by Jonathan Root

Liked by 40 people

Germany has much higher labor standards than Tesla is used to. What worker's are willing to put up with in China and even the US, just won't fly in Germany.

View all comments

I wouldn’t worry too much about this. It’s hard to overstate just how difficult it is to hire over 10,000 people in any location over a relatively short period – only a few years in this case.

You are going to run into a lot of growing pains.

However, the results need to be there. I wouldn’t be shocked if Tesla doesn’t achieve its goal of 5,000 units per week by the end of the year, but it needs to be closer to it than 2,000 units.

I would expect Tesla to release an update on the production rate by the end of the year.

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