Tesla enforces home office day for Brandenburg factory employees

Tesla enforces home office day for Brandenburg factory employees

A spokesperson has said that production at the Grünheide Tesla plant southeast of Berlin will cease on May 10. Production line employees have been told to work from home.

Berlin Tesla factory to cease production for four days

Administrative and production line employees working at Tesla’s Grünheide factory have been told to work from home on May 10. 

The announcement comes as the groups “Disrupt Tesla” and “Turn off the tap for Tesla” enter their fourth day camping in the nearby forest to protest Elon Musk’s plan for factory expansion.

According to a spokesperson from Tesla, “The fact that there will be no production on the bridge day [the day between the Ascension public holiday on May 9 and the weekend] has nothing to do with protests”. Tesla said that staff were informed in January that they would have to work from home on May 10, meaning that production would cease for a total of four days.

After setting up camp in the nearby forest on May 6, protesters will hold an event before the factory on Friday, which will include discussion groups and games. The group planned to encourage factory employees to join, but Tesla’s home office rule has thrown a spanner in the works.

What are Grünheide residents and protestors unhappy about?

While Elon Musk’s decision to open Europe’s only Tesla factory has caused friction in Berlin and Brandenburg since it was announced in 2019, protests against the company have ramped up in recent months.

In February 2024, 76 percent of locals voted against Musk’s plans to expand the factory in a non-legally binding referendum. The planned expansion, on which the Grünheide municipality will vote on May 16, would require felling another 250 acres of pine forest which surrounds the existing, 740-acre plant.

Alongside deforestation, there are major concerns about Tesla’s water usage. While Brandenburg is abundant with lakes and Grünheide sits between two of them, the region is beset with a water shortage and the fine texture of soil in the region means that it is easy for pollutants to drain deeper and contaminate drinking water.

There are also safety concerns about conditions inside the Brandenburg plant. Since doors opened in 2022, German magazine Stern has reported on the above-average number of accidents at the factory. These include a battery fire which resulted in contaminated water leaking into the soil and an illegal petrol station which “uncontrollably” leaked 250 litres of diesel.

“Every day that production stops means one fewer day where people aren’t put in danger at work,” Disrupt Tesla spokesperson Lucia Mende told taz, “Our goal is a total production transition”. 

Thumb image credit: Kittyfly /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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