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Tesla Fires 229 Annotation Employees

Elon Musk-run Tesla has laid off 229 annotation employees from its Autopilot team and closed one of its offices in the US.

According to a regulatory filing in California state in the US and seen by TechCrunch, Tesla had laid-off workers from its San Mateo office that employed 276 workers.

The remaining 47 employees may be sent to work in Tesla’s Buffalo Autopilot office, according to the report.

“Most of the workers were in moderately low-skilled, low-wage jobs, such as Autopilot data labeling, which involves determining if Tesla’s algorithm identified an object well or poorly,” the report added.

The layoffs are part of the 10 per cent reduction in salaried workforce that Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last month.

Tesla started laying off salaried employees after Musk’s announcement, which would result in reducing Tesla’s total headcount by roughly 3.5 per cent.

Tesla employs more than 1,00,000 people across its facilities.

A team of lawyers representing former Tesla employees, who were laid off last month, have sought emergency protection from a US court for the fired workers.

In a motion filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, the lawyers asked the judge “to restrict Tesla’s ability to continue seeking releases from employees in exchange for one week of severance”.

The plaintiffs alleged that the company did not provide the 60 days of advance notice required by federal law during layoffs.

Tesla workers John Lynch and Daxton Hartsfield were asked to go last month from Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 in Nevada state in the US, along with more than 500 other employees.

Meanwhile, Sundar Pichai, boss of Google and its parent Alphabet, told employees to “be more entrepreneurial” and work with “more hunger” in a staff-wide email that warned of consolidation, several news outlets reported.

Citing the “uncertain global economic outlook,” the CEO said Google would slow its hiring pace for the second half of 2022. Google brought on a whopping 10,000 workers during the second quarter, per Pichai. The chief Googler went on to say the company would consolidate “where investments overlap” and streamline its processes. Effectively, Google is calling on its staff to work harder, or else.

Tech companies of all shapes and sizes have laid-off workers in the face of a looming recession. That includes Google, Microsoft, Tesla and other corporate giants, as well as comparatively much smaller businesses like Bird, Rivian and Coinbase. Pichai’s memo did not mention layoffs, but phrases like “streamlining” and “consolidating” tend to evoke such things.

Alphabet, for its part, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the memo. Its first-quarter net profit swooned 8% year over year to $16.44 billion. The company will report its second-quarter earnings on July 26.

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