We’re still some time out from seeing a functional Tesla Gigafactory – that is, the gargantuan battery production facility being constructed by Tesla Motors near Reno, Nevada. But a lot of the planning and budgeting is already underway, with the electric carmaker announcing starting pay rates for new employees of the facility.
In fact, as far back as October, it came out that Tesla Gigafactory line workers would be earning a surprisingly generous $22.79 per hour, with equipment and quality technicians making $27.88, and engineers raking in $41.83.
But the Detroit Free Press reports that these figures should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt – or at the least, guarded optimism.
The Free Press concedes that these wages – which would average around $25 an hour for a full staff – is not only higher than the Big Three pay their starting workers, but even higher than the $17 an hour earned by Tesla Motors’ Fremont, California workers who assemble the Tesla Model S. It’s nearly double what most parts suppliers pay.
But as to whether the high Tesla Gigafactory wages will support and drive a UAW bid for better pay, labor experts expressed skepticism. Part of that, says the Free Press, is that most workers at Ford and General Motors earn thousands of dollars in bonuses through profit-sharing. Another part of it, according to University of California-Berkeley Professor and Labor Economist Harley Shaiken, is that “we don’t know what the benefits are.”
Implication: there may not be any.
He also speculated that the high wages could be used to preemptively prevent Tesla Gigafactory workers from organizing.