Tesla's California factory appears busy amid county shutdown orders

Tesla's California factory appears busy amid county shutdown orders

Tesla's California factory appears busy amid county shutdown orders

California's Alameda County said Tesla Inc. could reopen its lone US plant next week without acknowledging that it's already been operating for days, offering little clarity on whether the company is now in violation of local virus-lockdown measures. "If Tesla's Prevention and Control Plan includes these updates, and the public health indicators remain stable or improve, we have agreed that Tesla can begin to augment their Minimum Business Operations this week in preparation for possible reopening as soon as next week", reads the press release.

On Saturday, Mr Musk said the firm was suing Alameda County over its decision that the plant, located in Fremont about an hour south of San Francisco, should stay closed. The company met a Monday deadline to submit a site-specific plan to protect worker safety.

But the reopening defied orders from the health department, which has deemed the factory a nonessential business that can't fully open under restrictions meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Health Department said Monday it warned the company it was operating in violation of the county health order, and hoped Tesla would "comply without further enforcement measures" until the county approves a site-specific plan required by the state. But it has killed more than 80,000 people in the US, with the death toll rising. However, Governor Gavin Newsom has repeatedly said that even though businesses across the state were allowed to reopen, local governments can be more restrictive, meaning that counties can keep their stay-at-home orders in place. The Bay area was the first region in the country to lock down via shelter in place orders and has been the most cautious about reopening, citing the need to ramp up testing capacity, contact tracing and making sure that there is an ample supply of PPE, or personal protective equipment. " The plant may end up working for almost one week without official permission". Some auto parts plants were to restart production this week.

You can't always get what you want, unless you're Tesla CEO Elon Musk and you bully state and local officials during a pandemic. Tesla's workers don't have a union.

The county and six municipalities in the densely-populated region decided in late April to extend their restrictions on businesses through the end of May to battle the spread of the coronavirus.

Tesla relesed a plan to maintain worker safety, including the wearing of gloves and masks, installing barriers between workers and maintaining social distancing.

Tesla workers told the Guardian that they feel that Tesla's management is using intimidation tactics in order to force them to return to the job by threatening to cut their pay and unemployment benefits.

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