Economics/Class Relations

Elon Musk says Americans ‘are trying to avoid going to work at all,’ unlike Chinese workers who ‘will be burning the 3 a.m. oil’

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Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, said he expects China to produce “some very strong companies” because of the country’s workforce.

“There’s just a lot of super-talented, hardworking people in China who strongly believe in manufacturing,” Musk said in an interview with the Financial Times on Tuesday.

“They won’t just be burning the midnight oil. They will be burning the 3 a.m. oil,” he continued. “They won’t even leave the factory type of thing, whereas in America people are trying to avoid going to work at all.”

Musk himself famously slept on the floor of Tesla’s Fremont factory during the “production hell” for the Model 3.

“I wanted my circumstances to be worse than anyone else at the company,” he told Bloomberg in 2018. “Whenever they felt pain, I wanted mine to be worse.”

Last month, workers at Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory were required to sleep at the facility as production resumed following a three-week shutdown, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. A memo, which Bloomberg reported, indicated that each worker would be provided with a sleeping bag and an air mattress and expected to work 12-hour shifts with one day off per week.

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