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Elon Musk: No Progressive Hero


As I said yesterday, no boss is a friend to progressive causes. And that very much includes Elon Musk:

For years, Tesla Inc. has refuted concerns about worker safety at its main assembly plant by describing reviews from a California regulator as vindication.

But new documents and statements from the agency contradict those claims. Tesla omitted hundreds of injuries that the company listed in logs at its factory from annual summary data that the company sends to the government, according to a memorandum the state’s workplace-safety agency sent in December. California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, also hit Tesla with a citation that month for failing to properly record other injuries in its logs since 2015.

The documents, some of which were obtained through a public-records request, undermine statements Tesla executives have made about its plant in Fremont, California. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk dedicated a portion of an October 2018 earnings call to brief investors about workplace-safety efforts. He said Cal/OSHA had investigated the company and concluded it had not been underreporting injuries. Last month, Tesla said a review by the agency showed its record-keeping was 99% accurate.

But Cal/OSHA wasn’t focused on verifying the overall accuracy of Tesla’s injury record-keeping in the first place in 2018, according to Frank Polizzi, a spokesman. The agency also can’t verify the claim that Laurie Shelby, Tesla’s environmental, health and safety vice president, made in the February blog post. Tesla didn’t respond to requests for comment.

So like any green capitalist, Musk has no problem with an unsafe workplace that hurts workers in exchange for profit. This is the what liberals (and especially environmentalists) have to understand about green capitalism: these people hate workers just as much as the dirty capitalists. But there is no sustainability for the planet without sustainability for the working class. They can’t be separated. And if a green capitalist prioritizes profit over workers, they cannot be a friend to the planet. They are just another greedy person prioritizing their own pocketbook over the environment.

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