By Michael Messina

Recent investigative reporting by the San Jose Mercury News has uncovered a startling story of worker exploitation by the progressive car company Tesla. U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is now requesting an investigation of the visa status of up to 200 construction workers that they say were overworked and underpaid at the company’s Fremont factory.

From the Mercury:

The Iowa Republican, a longtime critic of visa policy and enforcement, cited the newspaper's investigation, "The Hidden Workforce Expanding Tesla's Factory," as a basis for the probe. The May 15 report found that a group of between 140 and 200 construction workers hired by a contractor for Tesla was brought over last year on questionable visas to build a paint shop at the factory. In interviews and a lawsuit, the workers said they were paid as little as $5 an hour while working up to 70 hours a week. They came over on B1-B2 visas, which broadly ban construction work.

The Bay Area is one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S., only highlighting the atrociousness of such a low wage. Prevailing wage for similar work is $55/hr.

Watch the Mercury video below and read the full story here.

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