di Joey Roulette
(Reuters) – California state panel on Friday rejected SpaceX’s request for $ 655,500 in state labor and training funds from Elon Musk, citing CEO’s recent threats to move Tesla, the electric automaker he also runs, out of the state.
The snub comes as Musk spoke to officials in Alameda County about his plans to resume production at the Tesla plant, which was shut down due to the coronavirus.
Five members of the California Employment Training Panel voted to reject the proposal and two voted for it, with one member absent, after discussing Musk’s tweets about Tesla’s reopening and layoff reports at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne in California in recent years.
“In my opinion, given the recent threats from the CEO to leave the state of California, and everything we have discussed today, this proposal does not reach the level necessary to make me feel safe from the support, “said Gretchen Newsom, a panel member and political director of a local branch of the IBEW electricians union.
“SpaceX is a different company, but they have the same CEO,” said Newsom, who is unrelated to California Governor Gavin Newsom.
Despite a small amount of money, the funding was disputed by organized labor groups. Tesla and SpaceX are both non-union stores.
Funding from the public employment development fund was supposed to help SpaceX train 900 employees for its Starlink satellite project and hire 300 to work on its Starship program. It was unclear whether SpaceX intended to go ahead with its hiring plan after the rejection on Friday.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Since the disagreement between Tesla and Alameda County has captured national attention, officials from states such as Texas, Nevada, Georgia, Utah, and Oklahoma have offered Musk to consider their state. for existing operations or for a new factory that the company has promised.
(Report by Joey Roulette; Editing by Greg Mitchell and David Gregorio)