Monday, June 17, 2024

Black Workers at Tesla Have to Deal with Racism on Factory Floor – VIDEO

*As far as Tesla factory worker Owen Diaz is concerned, the electric-car company has a race problem that’s out of control. He says he and other African American workers have reported threats, humiliation and barriers to promotion at the plant. Meanwhile, the automaker says there is no pattern of bias.

In an interview with the NY Times, Diaz says he’s seen swastikas in the bathrooms at Tesla’s electric-car plant, and he had tried to ignore racist taunts around the factory.

“You hear, ‘Hey, boy, come here,’ ‘N-i-g-g-e-r,’ you know, all this,” said Mr. Diaz, who is African-American. Then, a few hours into his shift running the elevators, he noticed a drawing on a bale of cardboard. It had an oversize mouth, big eyes and a bone stuck in the patch of hair scribbled over a long face, with “Booo” written underneath.

Here’s MORE from the Times:

On that winter night in the factory, when, he said, a supervisor admitted drawing the figure as a joke, Mr. Diaz had had enough. He typed a complaint to a Tesla manager on his phone. “Racist effigy & drawing” was the subject.

“When you really just look at it, you ask yourself at some point, ‘Where is my line?’” said Mr. Diaz, 50, who worked at the factory as a contractor for 11 months before he quit in May 2016.

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It is a line that others say they reached, too.

Interviews, internal communications and sworn legal statements filed by more than two dozen current or former Tesla employees and contractors describe a wide range of concerns among some African-American workers at the factory in Fremont, including threats by co-workers, demeaning assignments and barriers to advancement. Three lawsuits by former workers accusing Tesla of failing to curb racial discrimination and harassment have been filed since early last year, including one by Mr. Diaz awaiting trial.

Tesla rejects the workplace portrait painted in the complaints as inaccurate, saying there is no evidence to support “a pattern of discrimination and harassment.” It is not the only automaker to face allegations of racism in recent years, and it acknowledges that “in a company the size of a small city, there will at times be claims of bad behavior,” real or false. But it said there was no indication that the factory had an unusual rate of complaints.

You can get the rest of this story at the New York Times.

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