Payment deductions reportedly linked to factory accident in February
Elon Musk addressed this week the reports that employees of Tesla's Shanghai factory would be receiving bonus cuts.
On Twitter, Musk said that he was notified of the matter over the weekend.
"Was alerted this weekend. Looking into it," he said.
Musk's tweet is a response to reports that Tesla's Shanghai factory employees, which are around 20,000, would be facing cuts to their performance bonuses.
"Please pay attention to the performance (bonus) of frontline workers at Tesla's Shanghai factory being arbitrarily deducted," said user @AFeiywu in a now-deleted tweet.
Some workers said online that around CNY2,000 would be reduced from their quarterly bonuses, Reuters reported.
Linked to safety incident
Two workers told the news outlet that one reason for the bonus cuts was the "safety incident" at the Shanghai factory. On February 4, a "mechanical accident" took place at the Shanghai factory that resulted in the death of one employee.
The emergency bureau of Shanghai's Pudong district said there were "weaknesses" in the factory's security measures, The Associated Press reported.
According to the reports, which cited the investigation, the employee who died failed to lock a safety gate as set by the rules. Another employee also failed to ensure that the area was clear before turning on the equipment that caused the accident.
A report on the incident was previously published on Pudong's website, before it was reportedly asked to be removed by Tesla because it had photos of its production process.
One employee said on Chinese platform Zhihu that cutting performance bonus from the safety incident was "incredibly unfair."
"This safety incident happened in the factory. It is not because of workers' personal [shortcomings]," the user said as quoted by CNN. "Workers should not be penalized with pay deductions because of the company's liability problems."
The reports come as Tesla previously announced that it would break ground a new mega factory in Shanghai to manufacture the company's energy-storage product Megapack, Xinhua reported. It would begin in the third quarter of 2023 and is expected to start production in the second quarter of 2024.