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Tesla layoffs reportedly affect hourly workers, too

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Elon Musk emailed employees two weeks ago focusing on reductions in headcount for salaried employees

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

According to a report from Electrek, a wave of layoffs at Tesla may affect hourly workers, despite a company-wide email from Elon Musk on June 3rd saying “Tesla will be reducing salaried headcount by 10% as we have become overstaffed in many areas.” On June 4th, Musk tweeted that “[t]otal headcount will increase, but salaried should be fairly flat,” in response to a statement about Tesla’s staffing over the next twelve months.

The email went out clarifying the situation after initial reports of Musk telling company execs it would need to reduce headcount by 10 percent overall and pause hiring worldwide due to his “super bad feeling” about the economy. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment; the company disbanded its public relations department in 2019 and has not responded to requests from the media since then.

In other Musk-world news, SpaceX fired a number of employees linked to a letter critical of Elon’s behavior, and in a Q&A session with Twitter employees, he hinted at possible layoffs when / if he completes his acquisition while saying the company “needs to get healthy” financially.

Electrek says its sources confirmed layoffs that included salary employees on Tesla’s sales and delivery teams across North America. At the same time, the company manages an end-of-quarter wave of deliveries and recently raised prices. This comes a day after Electrek also reported untrained employees from other departments like sales have been pulled in to assist with the service department in order to shorten the “next available appointment” window that vehicle owners see when they schedule service.

In a report from Reuters yesterday, it cited Thinknum Alternative Data tracking Tesla job postings, saying they’d dropped by 32 percent since May and by 14 percent since Musk’s initial announcement. Reuters also spoke to a former Tesla employee in Texas who had been paid on an hourly basis for over a year in Austin, Texas, who was told that his job has been eliminated.