Union Vaccine: Elon Musk Promises Free Frozen Yogurt and Roller Coasters to Employees

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
union vaccine elon musk promises free frozen yogurt and roller coasters to employees

With his employees showing a growing interest in unionization, Tesla CEO Elon Musk shot off a lengthy email to staff urging them to forgo joining the United Auto Workers. While the UAW has romanced Tesla’s growing workforce for years, a recent — and highly publicized — blog post written by an employee expressed renewed concern over the company’s treatment of its workforce, as well as his hope to see them join the labor federation.

Musk initially reached out to the press to defend his company and is now appealing to workers directly, refuting allegations about subpar wages and condemning an earlier investigation into worker safety. “After looking into this claim, not only was it untrue for this individual’s team, it was untrue for any of the hundreds of teams in the factory,” he wrote.

In the email, initially acquired by Electrek, Musk refutes all of the complaints made against his company in the aforementioned blog post. Regarding workplace safety, the email posits that incidents have dropped dramatically since January 1st. Musk cites a total recordable incident rate under 3.3, which he claims is less than half the current industry average of 6.7. “Of course, the goal is to have as close to zero injuries as humanly possible, so we need to keep improving,” Musk added.

As for renumeration concerns, the email reminded readers that Tesla factory workers earn equity and, over a four-year period, would earn “between $70,000 and $100,000 more in total compensation than the employees at other U.S. auto companies.” Musk even went so far as to calculate the average earnings from other domestic automakers (after union dues).

The message’s tone, while serious, remains extremely positive throughout. The final lines are given the subheading of “fun” and include the prospect of free frozen yogurt and roller coasters once the company approaches profitability, before concluding with a smiley emoticon:

“As we get closer to being a profitable company, we will be able to afford more and more fun things. For example, as I mentioned at the last company talk, we are going to hold a really amazing party once Model 3 reaches volume production later this year. There will also be little things that come along like free frozen yogurt stands scattered around the factory and my personal favorite: a Tesla electric pod car roller coaster (with an optional loop the loop route, of course!) that will allow fast and fun travel throughout our Fremont campus, dipping in and out of the factory and connecting all the parking lots. It’s going to get crazy good 🙂”

Keeping employees happy is essential right now, as Tesla prepares to begin production on the oh-so-important Model 3. Production targets are lofty and schedules are exceptionally tight; a suddenly disenfranchised or adversarial labor force could have devastating ramifications.

[Image: Steve Jurvetson/ Flickr ( CC BY 2.0)]

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  • Low_compression Low_compression on Feb 27, 2017

    Frozen yogurt and a roller coaster? Are his employees all 12yrs old?

    • JimZ JimZ on Feb 27, 2017

      you've got to understand Silicon Valley culture. "Workplace happiness" is letting your employees come in to the office wearing shorts and no shoes, ping-pong tables and swimming pools, arcade games in the hallway, high end catering in the cafeteria, and so forth. "Making the work environment suck less" is for losers.

  • RHD RHD on Feb 28, 2017

    Elon is a visionary, the Preston Tucker of our times. Still, he should ask his wife to pick him up a few shirts that fit during her next shopping marathon.

  • Johnds Years ago I pulled over a vehicle from either Manitoba or Ontario in North Dakota for speeding. The license plates and drivers license did not come up on my dispatchers computer. The only option was to call their government. Being that it was 2 am, that wasn’t possible so they were given a warning.
  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.
  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.