For the past few weeks, we have been reporting on a situation developing at the Grohmann Engineering plant in Germany, a site which will be focusing on Model 3 production. With Tesla’s acquisition of Grohmann, a number of incidences have occurred, including the departure of Grohmann head, Klaus Grohmann, and a pending worker’s strike.
IG Metall has been pushing to unionize the workforce, but those efforts seem to be slowing down. Following threats of a strike last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk got personally involved when he held a Q&A with the Tesla Grohmann employees. Some excerpts from the letter can be seen below, but the gist of the meeting can be summed up with Musk reassuring the workers and IG Metall losing support for a strike.
Exclusive: Tesla's Klaus Grohmann ousted after clash with CEO Musk – sources https://t.co/VlRmeVCxku
— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) April 27, 2017
“Tesla Grohmann – Mail from Elon I am very grateful that last Thursday I had the opportunity to talk to you and I wanted to give you some additional thoughts.
…First, the question of trust and the longing of every employee for job security…we are expecting further growth at Tesla Grohmann and do not expect any personnel reductions. However, we wanted to give you absolute security for a definite period of time. This is a promise you can rely on and I will ensure that it is also formally implemented.
…Second, on remuneration. Last week, we announced that each employee at Tesla Grohmann Tesla will receive shares worth 10,000 euros (US $ 10,000), distributed quarterly over the next four years, and an immediate bonus of more than 1,000 euros in cash…Tesla firmly believes that extraordinary performance must be rewarded with additional cash and share bonuses. So this is only the beginning.
…Thirdly, it is clear that you would like to see more changes at the workplace…We have drawn up a long list of change measures to bring Tesla Grohmann to the conditions at other Tesla locations, as well as changes that are specific to Tesla Grohmann and which we are now trying to implement.
…Finally, I know that IG Metall wants to bring the workforce of Tesla Grohmann on the union line…Managers should always take care of their team before they take care of themselves – the supervisor is there to serve his team – not the other way round.”
This about-face comes as a sizeable shipment of robots arrived at Tesla Grohmann for the upcoming Model 3 production. Everything appears to be coming together for the start of production currently scheduled for July.
The acquisition of Grohmann has also put a strain on the relationship between Elon Musk and former Grohmann head Klaus Grohmann. Grohmann was ousted last month after a disagreement with Musk over the treatment of existing clients. Musk plans to focus the Grohmann plan solely on Tesla manufacturing while dropping all Grohmann’s legacy clients, which include Daimler and BMW.
It remains to be seen how Tesla will compensate Grohmann’s former clients for the lack of resources devoted to their previously agreed upon projects, but the move was enough for Klaus Grohmann to leave. It seems that nothing will get in the way of Model 3 production beginning in July!