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Former Tesla employee has to sell Lathrop house to make ends meet

Lathrop resident discusses lifeafter Tesla layoff
Lathrop resident discusses lifeafter Tesla layoff 02:15

LATHROP - Electric car giant Tesla laid off around 10% of its workforce in April, amounting to 14,000 jobs.

A lot of the people who worked at the factory in Fremont were commuting to work from Sacramento, Stockton and Lathrop. One of those employees was Nico Murillo.

Everything was going right for Murillo. He had bought a house in Lathrop, he bought a Tesla, and loved his career five years in.
But now, he has to sell his house and has to find a new job.

"Got laid off April 15th, a  Monday," said Murillo.

He worked those five years at Tesla's car manufacturing factory in Fremont, building the cars we see on the road.

He commuted almost every day, the hour-and-a-half drive to and from work and home in Lathrop.

"Everything was always go go go," he said. 

On the days he didn't commute, he would sleep in his car, to save on commuting time.

"This is a tri-fold bed so you collapse it," he said. "It was tough man." 

He was dedicated to his work at Tesla. That is until he tried to use his badge at the employee entrance like any other day.

"This big security guard in his deep voice said hey sorry," recalled Murillo. "Pulled me to side and I thought aw this isn't good and he said, you've been part of the layoffs, you don't work here anymore."

Just like that, Murillo was laid off.

Around 14,000 other Tesla employees met the same fate that April morning.

Now, several of them, like Murillo, have to make some tough decisions.

"Yeah, I have to sell the house. I got to do what I got to do to live," he said.

A home he bought just two years ago, with a salary from Tesla. But he has no sour feelings towards the car company.

"I loved what I did," he said. "I gained perseverance and grit working there."

After the house hopefully sells, he says he'll go back to living in his car. The Tesla door closing, he says, has allowed him to follow what he truly wants to do.

"We're all going to go through struggles," Murillo said. "My dad always told me if you believe it, you can do it."

Murillo will be documenting his journey on YouTube living in his car and his new job at the GNC inside the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasonton.

As the new store manager, he says it needs traffic because it's a new store.

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