(CTN News) – As Tesla prepares to expand its German gigafactory, Germany’s highest union IG Metall has called for the company to improve staffing conditions at its German plant and is urging the public to provide feedback on the carmaker’s expansion plans in the coming weeks.
From July 19, according to the environment ministry of Brandenburg, the German state where Tesla’s Gruenheide plant is located, Tesla’s (TSLA.O) application to double the production capacity of Gruenheide to 1 million cars per year will be made available on the internet and to local residents.
Objections to the application can be filed by citizens until the middle of September.
Tesla’s first European product hub expansion plans will result in more jobs being added to the 12,000 planned in the first phase of the expansion, out of which approximately 11,000 have already been hired to date.
According to Dirk Schulze, IG Metall’s managing director, “We are pleased to see Tesla’s plans for Brandenburg as an industrial location. Tesla’s plans are a clear indication of the company’s commitment to Germany,” said Dirk Schulze.
This announcement, however, is in sharp contrast to what many local employees are currently experiencing: Despite the high levels of sick leave, a significant number of employees are being laid off on a large scale.
Schulze pointed out that in June alone, almost 200 permanent staff had been laid off or signed payout deals and a mid-triple digit number of temporary workers had been let go, however this has not reduced the site’s weekly production goal currently set at 5,000 cars per week.
As much as the expansion of the Gruenheide plant is urgently needed, it must also be made a priority to improve the working conditions for the colleagues in Gruenheide before building the new plant.”
As of right now, Tesla was not available for comment.
Last month, Tesla announced that it will not need as many temporary workers as it did during its ramp-up phase at Gruenheide, and it will stop working Saturday shifts, but it remains on track to achieve its production goals.