Tesla Will Pay Its Factory Workers $25 An Hour Despite GOP Trying To Kill The Company

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tesla factory

Free Market. Industry. Small government. These are all things Republicans love to say when trying to get elected, but clearly don’t mean. For instance, just look at how emerging high-tech company Tesla has struggled to survive under constant attacks by state lawmakers eager to watch it fail.

This week, Tesla announced that its new massive factory built in the Nevada desert would be paying its employees an average of $25 an hour – far outpacing that of many other manufacturing wages. Even better, Nevadans working at the plant will be making nearly triple the state’s minimum wage. In total, Tesla plans to employ around 6,500 people. However, don’t look for many Republicans popping the corks on champagne bottles over this triumph of private industry – they’ve been trying to kill Tesla for years.

With America’s manufacturing sector struggling to recover from decades of decline, one would think an emerging company that marries high tech products with solid manufacturing jobs is just the kind of thing politicians who cared about the American economy are looking for. Instead, Republican lawmakers and governors in a variety of states have all-but banned the company, after feeling the pressure from car dealerships jealous of Tesla’s “cut out the middle man” approach.

The result has been laughably hypocritical. Republicans in states from New Jersey to Arizona to Texas have thrown out their “free market” ideology and imposed government-enforced bans on Tesla from even selling their cars in the state. In 2014, The Guardian summarized the baffling Republican antipathy towards Tesla for its readers in an article titled, “Why do car dealers and Republicans want to eliminate Tesla?“:

[T]he other week, it was New Jersey governor Chris Christie putting his finger on the economic scales, signing into law a ban on Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales model at the behest of his state’s powerful auto dealership lobby.

In doing so, New Jersey joined the ranks of Arizona and Texas to outright ban Tesla from selling its electic cars directly to consumers through a Tesla showroom. Customers can still head to existing showrooms to inquire, look at design options and go for a test drive, but employees are forbidden by law to discuss any type of pricing or help the customer … actually buy a car. A sign in the back informs would-be car buyers that any of that has to be done online or over the phone.

It was a good effort, but try as they might, these lawmakers weren’t able to kill Tesla. In fact, the company is growing at an ambitious rate, with plans to produce more cars, more advanced computer technology, and advanced batteries used to power it all. All that work has led to lots of well-paid employees working in an emerging field that is poised to explode with the rise of the electric car, the solar energy boom, and America’s pivot towards high tech white collar jobs.

The new plant in Nevada, nicknamed the Gigafactory because it’s built to harvest gigawatts worth of energy from renewable sources like solar and wind, will have a huge impact on the state’s economy. According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, the plant’s high wages are already having an effect on the pay scales of companies around it:

Mike Kazmierski, CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, said Tesla’s pay scale is driving up what existing and new employers in the area are paying.

“Three years ago, a support call center paid $10, $11, $12 an hour,” Kazmierski said. “We’re basically saying, if you’re not paying $12 to $15 an hour, you probably will go somewhere else. That’s part of the reason why we talk retention of workforce as a priority for us.” [source]

It’s almost as if paying workers more instead of squeezing them for less actually produces results that stimulate growth. Who would have thought?


Reprinted with permission from Addicting Info