May 19, 2017

Musk acknowledges stressful conditions in Tesla factories

AP

Tesla CEO Elon Musk acknowledged that Tesla factory workers were "having a hard time, working long hours, and on hard jobs" after reports of workers experiencing fainting spells, dizziness, seizures, abnormal breathing and chest pains, according to incident reports obtained by The Guardian. Some workers attributed the medical issues to the pressure associated with Musk's ambitious production goals.

Overvalued: Musk also said that the company's $50 billion market capitalization is "higher than we have any right to deserve," and pointed out that Tesla produces just 1% of the total output of General Motors. The electric car-maker's aggressive production goals (500,000 cars in 2018 — a 495% increase over 2016) has led to a pressure-cooker work culture, according to workers who spoke to The Guardian.

For his part, Musk said he cares about the workers' well-being and the factory's safety record has improved:

"We're a money-losing company. this is not some situation where, for example, we are just greedy capitalists who decided to skimp on safety in order to have more profits and dividends and that kind of thing. It's just a question of how much money we lose. And how do we survive? How do we not die and have everyone lose their jobs?"

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 190,089 — Total deaths: 4,127 — Total recoveries: 7,141Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Vice President Mike Pence said that White House modeling suggests "Italy may be the most comparable area to the United States" in terms of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
  4. State updates: Washington and California appear to have slowed their surges of new cases — Florida cases have been doubling the past four days, approaching 7,000.
  5. China: The coronavirus could threaten D.C.'s bipartisan China consensus.
  6. 2020 update: Bernie Sanders urges Wisconsin to delay April 7 primary.
  7.  🎧 Podcast: The Defense Production Act
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Pence: Coronavirus impact in U.S. may be "most comparable" to Italy

Vice President Mike Pence told CNN Wednesday that White House modeling suggests "Italy may be the most comparable area to the United States" in terms of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Italy has become one of the global epicenters of the pandemic, with 105,792 cases and 12,428 deaths. Public health experts have warned for weeks that the U.S. would be on the same path if it didn't take drastic measures to stem the spread of the virus.

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