Robert Reich blasted Tesla CEO Elon Musk as the billionaire prepared to host "Saturday Night Live."
The Berkeley professor and former Labor Secretary labeled Musk a "modern-day robber baron" in a video posted online.
"The problem is not only that Elon Musk has $100 billion while tens of millions of Americans are barely getting by, it's that he's made this money while treating his workers so badly," Reich said.
"His net worth quadrupled during the four months Tesla forced all workers to take a ten percent pay cut. Musk initially dismissed worries about the virus as 'dumb' and speculated that there would probably be close to zero new cases in the United States by the end of April," he said. "Well, he was obviously wrong about that."
Reich cited a tweet Musk sent near the end of that month.
FREE AMERICA NOW— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk) 1588140893.0
"In May, Musk reopened the company's factory in Freemont, CA -- which employs about 12,000 people -- in direct defiance of county orders. His defiance won the support of President Trump," he said. "Just days later, the first Tesla workers tested positive for the coronavirus."
Reich went on to list multiple allegations against the company.
"We're back to the excesses of the Gilded Age, my friends. And Elon Musk is a modern-day robber baron," Reich said.
It's time Elon Musk treat his workers with the dignity and respect they deserve. https://t.co/L5CymSzmQl— Robert Reich (@Robert Reich) 1620500598.0
ELON MUSK. MILEY CYRUS. THIS SATURDAY https://t.co/6miGBj90XJ— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@Saturday Night Live - SNL) 1620350013.0