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Tesla Texas gigafactory construction workers file complaints over unpaid wages, fake workplace safety certifications

Construction site of the Tesla Gigafactory in Austin, Texas. Mike Blake/Reuters
  • Construction workers who helped build Tesla’s gigafactory in Austin filed multiple workplace complaints on Tuesday.
  • Workers accused of their subcontractors of withholding wages and failing to keep workers safe, documents say.
  • Workers at Tesla’s factories have sued the company over working conditions in the past.

Construction workers who helped build Tesla’s sprawling gigafactory in Austin, Texas filed multiple complaints to the US Department of Labor on Tuesday, alleging multiple labor violations they said they faced on the job.

The construction workers accused their subcontractors — those who employed and paid the workers — of withholding wages from some workers, according to a complaint sent by an attorney at the Workers Defense Project, the nonprofit that’s representing the construction workers.

The letter redacted the names of the subcontractors for confidential purposes in light of a potential investigation.

Some workers claimed that they were not paid a time-and-a-half overtime rate for working more than 40 hours a week. They also alleged that they were not compensated the double pay bonus they said they were promised for the extra days they spent working over Thanksgiving weekend in 2021.

Victor, a construction worker

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EPA directs nearly $1B for electric school buses

The EPA on Wednesday announced $965 million in grants for electric school buses, the first of a five-year, $5 billion program for zero-emission school buses.

The grants will go to 389 school districts spanning all 50 states, the District of Columbia, several Native American tribes’ lands, and United States territories, the EPA said in a press release, adding that the grants will help these school districts purchase over 2,400 electric buses.

Thomas Built Buses Jouley electric school bus

Thomas Built Buses Jouley electric school bus

The EPA laid out details for the $5 billion program in May, and in September it effectively doubled the first-year funding, which had originally been set at around $500 million. School districts receiving this funding were selected via lottery. The next round of funding is scheduled to launch in the coming months and will include “an ambitious grant competition,” the EPA said.

Funding for the program comes from the mammoth Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed in late 2021. That law also sets aside $7.5 billion toward a nationwide EV charging network, targeting 500,000 chargers.

Lion C electric school bus

Lion C electric school bus

Before the Infrastructure Law was passed, Volkswagen’s diesel settlement also funded a lot of electric school buses for states. Michigan, for example, used part

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Swatch unleashes fleet of Fiats to sell MoonSwatches across the US

The Omega Speedmaster is one of the most sought-after and iconic watches ever made, so it was no surprise when the parent company Swatch got in on the action with a series of unique, entry-level quartz “MoonSwatch” collaboration watches. Buying the hot-selling bio-ceramic watches has been a chore, as Swatch only offers them in its limited number of stores. To help meet demand and promote the watches, the company is releasing a fleet of Fiat Cinquecentos to select locations where they’ll sell the timepieces on the streets.

The MoonSwatch retails for $260, but their limited release pushed online resale “values” over $1,000 in some cases. The planet-themed watches aren’t limited, but Swatch refuses to sell them online. The Fiat fleet will feature the same themes and visit cities around the country starting October 22.

Swatch’s “Mission to Mars” car will start its journey in Miami and hit other cities around Florida, while the “Mission to the Sun” Fiat will tour major metro areas in California. The blue “Mission to Neptune” car will visit locations in the Midwest. Though the tour began in July, the American portion doesn’t start until this weekend. In all, eleven vehicles will travel the globe selling

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