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Two pro-union workers from Tesla’s Fremont factory are speaking out about potential safety risks related to frantic efforts to hit production goals for the Model 3.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the company is entering “production hell.” With heightened stress at the factory, the two workers fear that excessive overtime will result in overworked, tired workers who become more prone to injuries.
The workers told Business Insider that Tesla skipped a trial run on new equipment designed for Model 3 production. Instead, they used computer simulations to design and order the final production tools. The workers fear that trouble with the equipment could lead to worker injury.
“I have my doubts with that because, just like anything new, there are always going to be adjustments that need to be made and you can’t guarantee a flawless, injury-free line right off the launch,” Michael Catura, a Tesla battery production associate, told the Business Insider. “You’re going to have to deal with all the bugs, all the kinks.”
There are growing unionization efforts by workers at the plant. The concerns shared with Business Insider come just more than a week after a group of Tesla employees sent a letter to the company’s board of directors requesting access to Tesla’s safety plan, clarity on compensation and neutrality, and non-retaliation agreements in an effort toward unionization. The efforts are led by the “Tesla Workers’ Organizing Committee.”