Several Tesla employees say frequent layoffs make them feel like they’re insecure, like an axe hanging over their heads. Today, Tesla is the world’s most valuable carmaker, but for its employees, the road to this milestone has not been easy, or even daunting.
Tesla will cut 7 percent and 9 percent of its workforce in 2018 and 2019, despite CEO Elon Musk’s promise after the 2018 layoff that the company will never do so again.
Still, Tesla is laying off workers in 2019. And, a month after the layoffs, Tesla told sales staff that it planned to close most of its stores. A few weeks later, Tesla abandoned that position;
At the end of 2019, Tesla had 48,016 employees, down slightly from 48,817 a year earlier.
Such frequent layoffs have left some Tesla employees feeling that their jobs are not entirely safe. Four current Tesla sales people say they are concerned about their job security. All four spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation from Tesla.
“At Tesla, it feels like an axe is on our head every day,” said one salesman who now works on the West Coast. They lay off workers without notice, and they are notorious for it. “
In March, when Musk told all Tesla employees they could stay at home if they were sick or worried about the new crown virus. But three salespeople said they were concerned about the potential consequences of staying at home too long.
“If there’s a lower market demand, Tesla has to decide who can stay, and in this case, they might be more willing to keep those who were still working during the outbreak than stay at home,” a Tesla salesperson from the Midwest said in March. “
About a month later, Tesla took about half of its vehicle sales and delivery staff off and took a temporary company-wide pay cut.
Another, who works on the West Coast, said: “When the company had to give us unpaid leave, we now realized that our job was not that stable. “
Tesla has yet to comment.