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Construction Workers Protest At Tesla's Gigafactory

Sam Felder
CC BY-SA 2.0

At the crack of dawn Monday, about 300 construction workers walked off the job at the Tesla Gigafactory in Storey County. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports they’re protesting the hiring of out-of-state workers.  

Todd Koch is president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada. He says protesters are opposing how Brycon Corporation, which is based in New Mexico, is bringing in lower paid workers from out of state.

“Tesla received tremendous incentives from the state of Nevada," Koch said, "and we just feel it’s a slap in the face to bring construction workers from out of state. Nevada workers are available for these jobs.”

Nevada lawmakers approved about $1.3 billion in tax incentives for Tesla in 2014. As part of that deal, Tesla agreed to hire half of the construction workers from the state.

In an email response, Tesla says they haven’t violated the agreement, pointing out that “more than 50% of the workers used by this contractor and more than 75 % of the entire Gigafactory workforce are Nevada residents.”

Koch, says that while the carmaker might be following the letter of the law, it violates the spirit of it.  

Anh is a contributing editor for the KUNR news team and has been with the station since 2014. She is an alumna of the Boston University School of Public Health and Teachers College, Columbia University.
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