October 4, 2022

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Elon Musk tells workers to return to the office or quit. The gloves are off: ‘Tesla is kick-starting its own local Great Resignation’

2 min read

Elon Musk is giving his employees an ultimatum.

Tesla’s 
TSLA,
+6.83%
chief executive officer and founder responded Thursday to an apparent leaked email that called on employees to return to the office: “They should pretend to work somewhere else” were his choice of words on Twitter
TWTR,
+2.93%
in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The email in question, dated May 31 and signed “Elon,” was candid, and was addressed to the electric-car maker’s executive staff. It was bluntly entitled: “Remote work is no longer acceptable.”

The Great Resistance has seen employees pitted against companies over whether they should return to the office full time after more than two years of working from home. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned people’s lives upside down and led to more than 1 million fatalities in the U.S. alone, but it has also given millions of workers a rare insight into the possibility of working remotely, and still being as productive as they were when they were in the office.

Tesla, which employs roughly 100,000 workers worldwide, has already received pushback in Germany, where it employs 4,000 workers and plans to expand to 12,000. The IG Metall union in the German state of Brandenburg Sachsen, where Tesla’s German plant is based, did not react kindly to Musk’s return-or-quit dictat, Reuters reported Thursday.

“Whoever does not agree with such one-sided demands and wants to stand against them has the power of unions behind them in Germany, as per law,” Birgit Dietze, the district leader for IG Metall in Brandenburg Sachsen, said per the news agency.

It’s not too surprising that some employees are pushing back hard against management’s expectations about returning to in-person work, even if most employees legal options are limited. “If we feel like somebody is trying to force us to do something we tend to push against that change with equal force,” David Schonthal,…



2022-06-02 11:23:00

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