Tesla's factory construction in Germany has been subject to often unfounded criticism by local media. In another attempt to discredit Tesla, some of them banded together and accused the company of violating German labor laws. After initial checks, the State Parliament confirmed that Tesla did not violate labor laws when building Giga Berlin.
In March, ZDF Info, a German public-service television broadcasting network, released a documentary based on a Frontal21 report that most viewers considered non-reflective of reality. The film clearly carried a bias against Tesla, which was reflected in the one-sided presentation of information, cutting out statements from the general context and even cutting off the part of the original tweet of the company's CEO of Elon Musk in order to manipulate public opinion.
Tesmanian's article on this issue caught the attention of Musk, who denounced such biased journalism. Instead of admitting its mistakes and doing everything to rehabilitate itself in the eyes of the public, ZDF Info, with the support of the German publication Business Insider, continued accusations against Tesla.
Wow, shame on ZDF Info!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2021
According to their "investigation," ZDF Info and Business Insider received information that builders in Giga Berlin work 12-14 hours per shift, six days a week, while receiving below average wages. They also pointed to the unacceptable living conditions of the builders given the COVID-19 situation. As expected, the German authorities immediately reacted to these allegations and carried out an inspection of the construction site to find out if this was true or not.
After conducting initial checks, the German government concluded that Tesla was not in breach of labor laws when building Giga Berlin. Ernst-Friedrich Pernack, spokesman for the Brandenburg Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Integration and Consumer Protection, said that from the very beginning, they regularly carried out inspections on the construction site, visiting the Occupational Health and Safety Compliance Department. In 2021 alone, 17 inspections were done. He said there were no violations.
Pernack confirmed that the builders' working hours are eight hours a day, not 12-14 hours, as stated by ZDF Info and Business Insider. In addition, all the information received so far indicates that the living conditions of the workers are at a decent level, which also contradicts the information of the above media outlets.
A total of 48 health and safety issues were considered, indicating a thorough inspection. As a result, it was concluded that the overall working situation at the construction site is great, especially when compared to other large construction sites. The construction process of Tesla's factory will continue to undergo rigorous checks.
Contrary to all the FUD in the German media about the #GigaBerlin here is a clarification.— @GF4Tesla 🇪🇺 🇩🇪 🏗️🏗️.build #GigaBerlin. (@Gf4Tesla) May 5, 2021
1. No working time violations
2. occupational health and safety is complied with
3. corona rules are observed
4. no indications of undignified living space for the workers. pic.twitter.com/uJV7h0xXUI
Es gab Berichte über hohe Arbeitszeiten und unwürdige Arbeitsbedingungen auf der Baustelle von Tesla in #Grünheide.— GrünheideForFuture (@Gruenheide4futr) May 5, 2021
In einer heutigen Landtagssitzung haben die zuständigen Behörden Bericht erstattet und soweit keine gravierenden Mängel festgestellt.https://t.co/kyBcNHGIze
© 2021, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.