Every once in a while a story comes along that really shocks and surprises me, often right in my backyard. This is one of those stories. How could the Tesla car company, symbol of forward-thinking, wealth and techie cool have people from Eastern Europe working at their Bay Area factory making $5 an hour?! That’s right, over a hundred people were brought to Tesla’s Fremont, California plant from places like Slovenia and Croatia to work ten-hour days making $5 an hour.
These guys built a huge new paint shop at the Tesla factory that is rapidly ramping-up production for the Tesla Model 3. (Tesla has already pre-sold over $10 billion worth of these cars!) Oh, and one of the workers almost died, which is why we know about this story. So amidst the wealth of Silicon Valley and high tech bells and whistles, a bunch of guys were effectively making $5 an hour— while their American counterparts would make $52 an hour for the same work.
Thanks to great reporting by Bay Area News Group’s, Louis Hansen, we also know that Tesla isn’t the only company that got mixed up in sub-contractors that bring in dirt cheap labor from abroad. There are other instances of this happening in Silicon Valley as well as at other car companies. And, look, not one mention of a certain orange-hued presidential candidate in the entire cartoon, whew! (Remember to check out the behind-the-scenes goodies when you support me on Patreon, thanks!)