World Backup Day Deals Best Cloud Storage Options Apple AR/VR Headset Uncertainty Samsung Galaxy A54 Preorders iOS 16.4: What's New 10 Best Foods for PCOS 25 Easter Basket Ideas COVID Reinfection: What to Know
Why You Can Trust CNET
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Tesla factory workers plan Juneteenth protest, demand statement from Elon Musk

Tesla's notoriously vociferous CEO has remained almost totally silent on the subject of systemic racism in America.

Elon Musk will say just about anything, it seems, except that Black Lives Matter and that isn't sitting well with employees.

Elon Musk is an interesting guy. He'll very often take to Twitter to voice his opinions on shelter-in-place restrictions or certain rescue divers, but when his employees actually want him to say something -- specifically that Black Lives Matter -- his voice is nowhere to be heard.

That's enough for a group of Tesla's Fremont factory employees to stage a protest against Musk's silence and to commemorate Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of slavery in the US, by holding a rally at Fremont factory, according to a report published by Protocol on Thursday.

There have been internal statements made by other high-level Tesla employees, such as its North American head of human resources, Valerie Workman. Workman published a letter to Tesla employees and later in a post on LinkedIn titled Bringing My Whole Self to Work at Tesla, which talks about the realities of being Black in America.

"Fearing for the lives of my husband and sons is a constant nagging undercurrent that I suppress so that I can go about my day (just as my mother, my grandmother and my great-grandmother learned to live with this fact of life)," Workman writes in her letter. "Despite being a proponent of bringing your whole self to work, I never discuss this part of my life in the office."

Despite this openness from executive staff, Tesla's employees of color want some reassurance from their larger-than-life leader that not only does he stand against racism, but that he stands with them. At this point, it seems doubtful that they'll get it.

On June 19, however, an email surfaced via Twitter from Workman who told workers they may have the day off to "celebrate, reflect or participate in events" meaningful to staff. According to the tweet, this email allegedly came after some workers already reported for their shifts. Further, Workman followed up clarifying those who take the day will not be paid.

Tesla didn't immediately respond to Roadshow's request for comment.

Now playing: Watch this: Black Lives Matter: How you can take action today

First published June 18.
Update, June 19: Adds new information from Tesla's head of HR.