Tesla exploits cheap imported labor

“Overseas contractors are shipping workers from impoverished countries to American factories, where they work long hours for low wages, in apparent violation of visa and labor laws.”

That’s the conclusion of the San Jose Mercury News after months of investigative journalism. The newspaper reports, “About 140 workers from Eastern Europe, mostly from Croatia and Slovenia, built a new paint shop at Tesla’s Fremont plant …. While bypassing American workers for low-cost foreign laborers may benefit [its] bottom line, Tesla said it had nothing to do with hiring the ones who built its paint shop.”

That’s because the dirty business of importing foreigners to work for substandard wages is handed off to labor contractors, a life form that Hollywood loves to demonize. The late actor Charles Bronson captured their essence in his 1974 movie Mr. Majestyk, see video clip below, and John Steinbeck wrote about them in his Nobel Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath.

The government acknowledges there are problems. “‘We have concluded that there is widespread abuse of the B1 visa in the Bay Area,’ said Michael Eastwood, assistant district director of the San Jose area office of the U.S. Department of Labor. He was unfamiliar with the allegations against Tesla contractors.” Tesla also denies it knew what was going on. But isn’t it their business to know? Tesla, the not-so-nice car company. Read the story herehere, and here.

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