Elon Musk: Tesla paid $55 an hour to paint-factory builders

Musk says Tesla paid $55 per hour to workers

Elon Musk took to Twitter on Wednesday to push back against claims that Tesla has used cheap foreign labor to build one of its facilities.

The CEO tweeted a letter purportedly sent from Eisenmann president Mark West that disclosed that laborers had been paid an hourly rate of $55, not the $5 that was initially reported by The Mercury News.

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The publication also reported that Gregor Lesnik, one of the workers who allegedly was paid $5 an hour, is attempting to sue his employers after reportedly falling three stories while building the Tesla facility and breaking both his legs.

"We are interested in accuracy first and foremost," a spokesman for Mercury News told CNBC. The publication noted that Lesnik had provided pay stubs as part of a court case that supported his claims.

"Our story does not say Tesla paid these people $5 an hour," the spokesman said, "Our story says that Gregor Lesnik was getting $5 an hour, according to his pay stubs."

An employee works on a Telsa Motors Model S sedan as it makes its way along an assembly line at company's assembly plant in Fremont, California.
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Tesla posted a rebuttal to Mercury News' article on Monday, noting that if the claims against its contractors are true, they are "totally unacceptable."

In the statement, Tesla denied knowledge of its contractors' possible underpayment of workers; representatives declined to comment further on Wednesday.

"We still need to make sure that the injured person is taken care of, but less [and] less of the [Mercury News] story appears to be true," Musk tweeted on Wednesday.