Tesla's layoffs continue as the company sees to reduce its head count by 10 percent, but they don't seem to be restricted to salaried employees.
According to a Bloomberg news report citing people familiar with the matter, the EV maker has laid off about 200 hourly workers who processed data at its San Mateo office in California. The people were working on Tesla's Autopilot team at the facility, which was shuttered.
Prior to the cuts, the San Mateo office had about 350 employees, but some had been transferred to a nearby facility in recent weeks. The unnamed sources claim the majority of those who were let go were hourly workers. That seems to contradict Tesla CEO Elon Musk's stated plans to cut 10 percent of salaried staff while increasing hourly jobs.
The people working at the San Mateo office were employed in evaluating customer vehicle data related to the Autopilot driver-assistance features and performed data labelling. Many of them were data annotation specialists, all of which are hourly positions, according to one of the sources.
The work they did consisted mostly of labelling images for cars and the environment they navigate, such as street signs and traffic lanes, with the goal of improving Autopilot. That said, one source claims Tesla has continued to expand its Autopilot data-labelling teams at its office in Buffalo, New York, where staff doing the same role are paid a lower hourly rate than in San Mateo.
After a surge in hiring in recent years that increased its headcount to about 100,000 employees globally, Tesla has started to trim its ranks. Earlier this month, Elon Musk said layoffs would be necessary in an increasingly shaky economic environment. He said that about 10 percent of salaried employees would lose their jobs over the next three months, though the overall headcount could be higher in a year.
The company's downsizing efforts have focused on areas that grew too quickly, with some human resources workers and software engineers being among those who have been laid off. In some cases, the cuts affected employees who had been with the company for just a few weeks.
Tesla did not comment on the report.