Tesla layoffs catch the attention of U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh

·2 min read

U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh says it's time for his new billionaire acquaintance Elon Musk to give him another phone call as the Tesla CEO eyes mass layoffs at the EV maker.

"I had a conversation with Mr. Musk about two months ago," Walsh told Yahoo Finance Live about potential layoffs at Tesla (video above). "I would love to follow back up with him about what more we can do as a government. Quite honestly, this is not just a government response. This is a business response as well [as a response to] where we are headed with the economy."

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: Elon Musk attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: Elon Musk attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

In a new internal memo obtained by Reuters, Musk stated that Tesla would be pausing hiring and laying off 10% of the company's 100,000 global workforce as the world richest man had a "super bad feeling" about the economy.

"Certainly Elon Musk is a very smart person and he is looking at where he is in the economy, where the company is," Walsh said. "I am hopeful that won't happen out there. I am hopeful as we continue to move forward we will continue to see our economy get stronger."

Tesla stock fell nearly 9% on Friday as the news came as a surprise to the bulls with the automaker putting up a strong first quarter and noting strong order trends. The stock was the top trending ticker on the Yahoo Finance platform for the entire trading session.

The lines of communication have recently opened up between Musk and the Biden administration after a long stretch of iciness.

Musk gave Walsh a tour of Tesla's new Gigafactory on March 14, ten days after Walsh told Yahoo Finance Live that he welcomed a call from the EV titan.

"We had a good conversation," Walsh told Yahoo Finance Live in May when asked about the meeting, which marked the first public olive branch by the pro-union Biden administration to the famously anti-union Musk.

"I'd like hereby to invite UAW to hold a union vote at their convenience," Musk tweeted on March 3. "Tesla will do nothing to stop them."

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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