Tesla has stealthily bumped up wages for some employees at its crucial Shanghai Gigafactory, according to posts by workers on social media. But the increases appear to be inconsistent, with many left guessing if they’ll see fatter paychecks too.
Elon Musk previously said Tesla’s Chinese workers deserve sky-high salaries, with monthly pay in the “tens of thousands of RMB”. Now, several Shanghai line workers have shared screenshots of emails notifying them of wage hikes. Others said supervisors mentioned paying attention to their inboxes.
The uneven rollout has raised some eyebrows, though. Plenty of Gigafactory employees have complained about being left out, saying they haven’t received emails or updates to their performance data.
The selective nature of the raises seems to confirm rumors that started swirling in July 2023. Back then, some workers reported getting bonuses as high as 1.5 times their monthly base pay in Q2, leapfrogging the previous cap of 1.2X. Others saw their performance incentives double compared to Q1.
When asked for details by reporters at the time, Tesla largely dodged the question, claiming the factory had too many employees to nail down specifics.
Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory is its most important plant globally, churning out electric sedans and crossovers for China, Europe, and beyond. The company has additional factories in the US and Germany, with more on the horizon. But Shanghai remains its buzzing backbone.
For Tesla, the hush-hush wage increases may be about retaining talent in a hyper-competitive landscape. But if the money doesn’t trickle down more evenly, it could brew resentment on the factory floor.