May 28, 2024


Tesla laid off at least 10% of its workforce earlier this month, and in typical Tesla fashion, the Texas-based automaker made sure the layoffs were done in an organized fashion with plenty of communication and a clearly defined strategy. Just kidding. The layoffs were so poorly executed that security was forced to scan employees’ badges at the door to figure out who had been laid off. And, apparently, that included a guy who had taken to sleeping in his car and showering at the factory so he could work longer hours.

Nico Murillo, who until April 15 had been working as a production supervisor at Tesla’s Freemont facility, recently posted his layoff experience on LinkedIn and sharing the timeline of how he discovered he’d lost his job:

4:30am: Opened my laptop, account was de activated. Thought it was just another IT problem, so didn’t think anything of it.

5:00am I usually check my emails while on my autopilot commute to work (1hr 30min drive) Email read: “Unfortunately as a result, your position has been eliminated by this restructuring.”

5:05am Texted my manager, but he said “everyone got it, we’ll get more info later”

5:50am Tried to badge in, and the security guard took my badge and told me I was laid off

6:00am Sat in my car in disbelief.

You would think that someone who works at Tesla would know that even with Tesla’s so-called “Full Self-Driving” software, Autopilot is only a Level 2 system and still requires the driver to monitor the road instead of checking emails. After all, its use has been linked to more than 200 crashes and at least 29 deaths, but for the purposes of this post, we’re just going to move on because his story takes a quick, depressing turn.

According to Murillo, in his five years at Tesla, he moved from an entry-level Production Associate role to Lead Production Associate and eventually Production Supervisor. Also, with a 90-minute commute each way, in 2023, he apparently started sleeping in his car, showering at the factory and microwaving his dinners on days that he was working.

Unfortunately for Murillo, no amount of loyalty to a company is going to be met with any amount of loyalty to you. Even if you post better numbers than your coworkers, you’re ultimately just another meat sack they’re forced to pay until they can figure out how to replace you. Which might explain why the United Auto Workers union is making huge gains in Alabama, of all states, and Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga recently voted to join the UAW even though a similar vote failed back in 2019.

Hopefully, Tesla’s Fremont plant isn’t too far behind Volkswagen’s Chattanooga facility. They deserve better than being forced to line up at the door so they can wait for security to figure out who still has a job.

H/T: CarScoops

A version of this article originally appeared on Jalopnik.



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