Tesla employees petition for higher base pay

'We are requesting a 15 [percent] increase in base pay to bring us closer to a living wage'

A Tesla employee started a petition asking for a 15 percent increase in base pay to bring her colleagues "closer to a minimum wage."

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The petition addressed to Tesla founder Elon Musk and Chairwoman Robyn Denholm comes after commissions were cut and responsibilities grew in the second half of 2019.

"So far the response from our local managers has been to divide and intimidate us in our efforts. We are legally allowed to work together to ask for fair wages and treatment. We are determined as a team to move forward together," Dare Brewer, the employee who authored the petition, wrote, adding later, "We are requesting a 15 [percent] increase in base pay to bring us closer to a living wage."

REUTERS/Phil Noble

The demand for a higher base pay highlights the automaker's attempts to cut costs and reach sustained profitability following a year of change and uncertainty by pushing its employees to do more without a change in pay.

"We deserve fair and open negotiations especially now that we are being asked to go through yet another change that is requiring us to do the work of what was originally three separate people's jobs," Brewers said.

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"We are fighting to breathe life into a company that is not doing the same for us," she added.

So far, 342 people have signed the petition, though it is not clear whether all the signatories work or worked for Tesla.

Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk during a delivery event at its Shanghai factory Jan. 7, 2020. (REUTERS/Aly Song)

Tesla has experienced major growth within the past year after it opened its first car plant in Shanghai, where the first Model 3 vehicles began rolling off the assembly line last week and starting selling faster than expected after a $7,000 price drop.

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The carmaker's stock hit a new high Monday morning after receiving another price-target hike from Wall Street. Shares crossed the $500 level for the first time, putting further pressure on short-sellers, after the New York-based investment bank Oppenheimer raised its price target to $612 a share, the highest among Wall Street banks.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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FOX Business' Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.