As soon as it started, Tesla took a break in production at its factory in Grünheide. The workforce tends not to be happy.

Almost four months after the start, the Tesla car factory in Brandenburg is going into a two-week break in production on Monday. This was announced to the employees a long time ago, IG Metall said on Friday on request. Such vacations are not uncommon.

Union spokesman Markus Sievers nevertheless reported dissatisfaction among the workforce, despite a six percent wage increase announced by Tesla. The background is that newly hired employees now get more money than newcomers a few months ago. This in turn is due to increasing problems in finding skilled workers.

Production still under construction

Tesla boss Elon Musk’s only European factory was officially opened in March in Grünheide near Berlin. The company wants to produce 500,000 electric cars a year there with 12,000 employees. But the production is still under construction. Musk recently confirmed that 1,000 cars are being built a week. According to dpa information, there should be 5,000 by the first quarter of 2023. The two-week break in production should be used for maintenance at the factory, it said. The plant currently has around 5,000 employees.

Tesla has announced a 6 percent wage increase for its employees in August. The aim is to attract employees despite the lack of skilled workers, said IG Metall spokesman Sievers. But he criticized: “Even with this increase, Tesla remains well below the level of the collective agreement for the metal and electrical industry.” The increase at Tesla applies to all employees in production.

However, some of the employees were hired on different terms because recruitment was becoming increasingly difficult, explained the union spokesman. Nothing will change about these differences. “Active IG Metallers from the workforce tell us that there is still great dissatisfaction among the workforce,” explained Sievers.