According to the head of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, Tesla Motors plans on paying its workers higher than nearly every other automaker in the U.S. at an average hourly wage of $25.
These wage figures would be double what the majority of part supplies pay, as well as $8 higher per hour than those who assemble the Model S in Fremont, California.
Tesla is planning on hiring 6,500 workers over the next eight years for its giant battery factory, dubbed the Gigafactory, and located east of Reno.
The Reno newspaper reported last October that most of the workers, roughly 4,750, will start at $22.79, while the 820 or so equipment and quality technicians will begin being payed at $27.88 per hour. As for engineers and senior staff, they will see pay starting at $41.83 per hour.
With this fairly hefty wage growth, Mike Kazmierski, CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada explained to the Reno Gazette-Journal that Tesla is bringing higher wages to the area while also emphasizing the skill gap that exists within the region’s workers.
“Three years ago, a support call center paid $10, $11, $12 an hour,” Kazmierski stated.
“We’re basically saying, if you’re not paying $12 to $15 an hour, you probably will go somewhere else. That’s part of the reason why we talk retention of workforce as a priority for us.”
Labor experts explained on Monday that they were quite surprised by Tesla’s Nevada wages, but that it most likely won’t have any influence upon the United Automobile Workers negotiations with the big 3 Detroit automakers this fall.
With UAW’s 2011 contract, workers begin payment at $15.78 per hour, but pay is boosted by a pre-tax profit sharing amount. Most General Motors production workers receive $9,000, while Ford’s hourly workers get about $6,900, both before taxes.
Kristin Dziczek, director of the labor and industry group at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, stated that Tesla would be paying substantially higher than LG Chem, the maker of lithium-ion batteries for the Chevy Volt.
She also went on to state that she doesn’t believe that this Tesla average wage increase will create any short-term wage increases for the Detroit big 3 or those who supply them.