2020-05-10 17:53:26 UTC
...after California county health official says factory CAN'T reopen - despite
Gov Gavin Newsom giving it green light
*The disgruntled CEO took to a comment thread on Twitter to share that he was
also planning to file a lawsuit against Alameda County
*San Diego assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez expressed her feelings about his
decision in a three word tweet
*'We've been working with them, but we have not given the green light,' Alameda
County Health Officer Erica Pan said of Tesla
*She added: 'We have not said it is appropriate to move forward.'
*Tesla Inc. announced resumed 'limited operations' at its only American car
plant in Fremont, California on Friday
*An email said Tesla would bring back 30 per cent of employees normally working
*A number of Tesla staffers were either told to work at home, furloughed or
dismissed when the plant shut down
*CEO Elon Musk cited Gov. Gavin Newsom's new guideline allowing manufacturers to
reopen Friday as reason to reopen
A California Democrat had choice words for entrepreneur Elon Musk after he
announced that he plans to move the Tesla HQ to Texas and Nevada 'immediately'
after a California county health official said that his plant could not reopen.
'F**k Elon Musk,' San Diego assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez tweeted Satuday.
Gonzalez's statement drew both praise and condemnation, particularly from people
who pointed out the number of job losses if the Tesla factory moves.
Tesla's Freemont factory employs 10,000 people.
Unlike Gonzalez, Texas and Nevada Republicans were quick to embrace Musk's
'Texas gets better every day. Good conservative principles make good governance,
and attract the best and the brightest. The future is happening in Texas,' Texas
congressman Dan Crenshaw tweeted Saturday.
Nevada congressional hopeful Dan Rodimer tweeted: 'Nevada NEEDS these jobs most
of all right now, @elonmusk. We would love to have you and Tesla HQ right here
in the Battleborn State!'
Musk took to a comment thread on Twitter on Saturday to share that he was also
planning to file a lawsuit against Alameda County.
Musk's fury was directed towards Alameda County Health Officer Erica Pan, who on
Friday announced that the Fremont company would not be able to reopen, despite
California Governor Gavin Newsom lifting some coronavirus restrictions.
'Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future
programs to Texas/Nevada immediately,' he said in the Saturday tweet.
'If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent
on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.'
'Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately,' he said in an
earlier tweet. 'The unelected & ignorant Interim Health Officer of Alameda is
acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms &
just plain common sense!'
On Friday afternoon, CEO Musk told Tesla employees that the multi-billion dollar
car manufacturer would restart production at its plant in Fremont, CNBC reports.
But hours later, Pan said of Tesla: 'We've been working with them, but we have
not given the green light. We have not said it is appropriate to move forward.'
Musk, 48, cited California Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement that manufacturers
can reopen this week as reason to move forward.
'In light of Governor Gavin Newsom's statement earlier today approving
manufacturing in California, we will aim to restart production in Fremont
tomorrow afternoon,' Musk said Thursday.
'I will be on the line personally helping wherever I can. However, if you feel
uncomfortable coming back to work at this time, please do not feel obligated to
But Newsom's orders don't override those of Alameda County, which has
stay-at-home guidelines in place through May 31.
This may cause friction between local and state officials as they try reopen
California in phases.
A separate email was sent to staffers from Valeria Capers Workman, Tesla's HR
head in the US, on Thursday night with additional details.
Workman said the Fremont plant would go ahead with restricted operations and
bring back 30 per cent of employees normally working a shift.
'... Limited operations will resume at the Fremont factory starting at 30% our
normal headcount per shift,' she wrote.
It's unclear if Tesla will be able to properly manufacture vehicles with the
Employees who are asked to come back must watch a training video on the new
safety protocols Tesla will implement amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The reopening will likely bring back some staffers who were sent home to work or
furloughed after the Fremont plant shuttered on March 23.
Tesla, as well as other businesses in California, were closed in March after
Gov. Newsom enforced stay-at-home orders in the state.
Similar orders were implemented in Alameda County where the Fremont plant is
Musk initially defied the lockdown orders and continued operations for five days
before they closed amid pressure.
Tesla tried to claim it was an essential business, but was shutdown by public
Some employees were asked to work at home, some furloughed and contract workers
dismissed. Top staffers received pay cuts and furloughed workers retained health
Musk later tried to rally dozens of employees together and asked them to return
to work in late April, NBC Bay Area reports.
Last week, Musk lambasted state officials over lockdown orders he called
'fascist' and unconstitutional.
But he appeared in high spirits on Thursday with Newsom's new guidelines in
mind. Musk tweeted 'Yeah!!' in response to Newsom's announcement.