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Tesla sales employees launch petition to increase their salary following commission cuts

Tesla sales employees have launched a petition to increase their salary following a restructuring of their compensation that involved cutting commission last year.

In early 2019, Tesla launched the long-promised $35,000 version of the Model 3, and CEO Elon Musk said that they plan to make that price viable by moving all sales online-only, closing stores, and reducing retail headcount.

It resulted in Tesla slashing retail employee compensation and closing a first wave of stores.

Later, the automaker ended up reversing some of those changes, especially when it comes to closing retail locations and bringing back some compensation through sales commission.

These changes came during an important cash crunch from Tesla, which was introducing the Model 3 in Europe at the time.

In October, sources familiar with the matter told Electrek that Tesla communicated to employees that they plan on eliminating the commission structure, which was already revised down earlier in the year.

Sale advisers, who were the most affected by the reduction in compensation, are being told that they will get a 20% to 40% salary increase to compensate for the change.

Sources told Electrek that Tesla still plans to offer bonuses, but they will be awarded through stock options when goals are achieved.

Now a Tesla employee started a petition to increase salaries by 15%, and already almost 400 people signed it.

Here’s the petition:

To: CEO Elon Musk and Chairwoman Robyn Denholm

Tesla Motors Base Pay Increase

My name is Dare and I work at the Tesla location in Richmond, Va. My coworkers and I are seeking a higher base pay for the Tesla Adviser position and the VPS position. So far the response from our local managers has been to divide and intimidate us in our efforts. We are legally allowed to work together to ask for fair wages and treatment. We are determined as a team to move forward together.

We have stood by the company’s side through all of the changes and scares with resilience. We deserve fair and open negotiations especially now that we are being asked to go through yet another change that is requiring us to do the work of what was originally three separate people’s jobs. We have lost a lot of great people over this past year due to Tesla’s culture which was quite different from what we were told as we were being recruited.

We believe in Tesla’s ultimate mission and want to see the company succeed with us as an integral part of that mission. But, in order to do so, a real culture of sustainability needs to be established. That not only includes transitioning the world to sustainable energy and transportation but sustainable human rights practices such as being able to work together as a team to negotiate fair wages and treatment.

I love the idea of working together in a more group oriented practice but with this change came a very slight increase in base pay and a devastating decrease in commission. We rely heavily on this to make ends meet. Therefore, we are requesting a 15% increase in base pay to bring us closer to a living wage.

We look forward to working together to make a sustainable change in Tesla’s internal culture as well as a change in the world as a whole.

Why is this important?

We all love Tesla and want to see the company do well but we need to be able to take care of ourselves as well. We have been told to be scrappy while watching our wages diminish, our work load increase, and continuous promises of a better future if we push though now. This future will not come at Tesla if we do not fight for it. The company is doing exceedingly well with stocks and sales but the amount we make has decreased. Our VPS’ and TA’s do not make a living wage and we are fighting to breathe life into a company that is not doing the same for us.

We love Tesla and our teammates. Even though it is hard to fight for ourselves let’s do our best to fight for each other. Tesla will be great and make a real change in this world but only if we hold it to what is right. Please join me in signing this petition and helping Tesla become sustainable not only in our products but how we treat our people. Let’s dare to do more and be more.

In 2018, Tesla settled a $1 million lawsuit with its salespeople over their compensation and said that sale advisers can make over $150,000 per year.

Following all the changes to Tesla’s retail structure last year, salespeople haven’t been able to make the same amount of money, yet their role has expanded for many of them.

Electrek’s Take

Tesla is starting to make money now, and it’s fair that salespeople, who helped Tesla achieve profitability both through their hard work and taking a pay cut last year, get fairly compensated.

15% sounds extremely reasonable, especially considering most of them have a lot more responsibilities than they did before.

Car salespeople can pull in some pretty good money, and while working for Tesla has other appeal besides just money, the company still needs good compensation to attract talent.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.


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