Tesla names new HR head amid worker allegations

Tesla Inc. has replaced Arnnon Geshuri, vice president of human resources, with Gaby Toledano, a former executive at video game company Electronic Arts, amid employee claims of a harsh work environment at the EV maker’s California assembly plant.

In a blog post published Tuesday, the automaker said Geshuri, an eight-year veteran at the company, would be “taking a short break” before going on to a new project. Toledano has been given the title of chief people officer.

The change follows efforts to unionize Tesla’s Fremont, Calif., factory and a variety of reports detailing harsh conditions at the plant. In February, Tesla employee Jose Moran published a blog post claiming workers were underpaid and overworked, and that they had contacted the UAW about interest in organizing.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk dismissed the claims as false and claimed Moran was a UAW employee.

Following up on Moran’s post, workers filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board in April, alleging there had been incidents of intimidation and surveillance at the plant.

On May 18, a report in The Guardian described a high frequency of injuries at the factory between 2014 and 2016. A study of Occupational Safety and Health Administration data published Wednesday by Worksafe, a California nonprofit focused on worker rights, showed that Tesla employees reported a 31 percent higher rate of injuries in 2015 than the industry average. A Tesla spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on the report.

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