The automobile firm Tesla will have to raise wages at its gigafactory on the outskirts of Berlin, in the face of growing discontent among plant workers and hiring difficulties, according to the country’s main auto union, IG Metall.
The union organization has highlighted that it has been receiving increasing reports for some time from workers at the European Tesla factory who complain about excessively low and unequal wages.
“Tesla wants to have about 12,000 workers by the end of the year. To achieve this goal, the management will have to raise the salary bar soon,” explained the regional head of the union, Birgit Dietze. She also stressed that hiring at the plant is not progressing as fast as expected and that management finds it increasingly difficult to find enough suitable staff.
The IG Metall union warns that Tesla will have to raise wages at the Berlin plant due to the lack of workers. “Many would be interested in moving to Tesla, but in the end they decide not to, in part because they earn significantly more in their current jobs at other automakers,” Dietze said.
The management of the plant would have already begun to offer more salary to new hires, which is a “damage to industrial peace”. According to an analysis of employment contracts by IG Metall, Tesla pays less than car companies in the region where IG Metall’s collective agreements apply. At almost 20%, wage gaps are particularly large in the middle of the wage scale, that is, among skilled workers. “With the salary increases that we will promote in the next round of collective bargaining in the metallurgical and electrical industry, this difference will increase even more. The management will have to react to this,” the union official warned.