Newsom Says He Didn’t Know Tesla Has Reopened Its Factory

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California Governor Gavin Newsom was surprised on Monday when a reporter informed him that Tesla had already reopened its factory in Fremont to resume production.

“As just mentioned, I need details on this. From what I understand, when I got on the podium today, that was not the case. I’m trying to monitor hundreds of thousands of businesses across the state of California, “The governor said at a press conference on Monday.

As CNBC previously reported, production workers have been scheduled for shifts this week starting Sunday at Tesla. Local television broadcasters showed cars of employees entering company parking lots on Monday.

Tesla contacted employees Friday to schedule the shifts. Over the weekend, Elon Musk went on Twitter to announce that Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County, where Fremont is located, and will take Tesla’s headquarters and possibly all of its operations out of the city. ‘Response to Covid-19 Health Orders.

Musk had previously called local shelter orders and other health orders affecting Tesla “fascist”. After Newsom’s press conference, Musk tweeted that “Tesla is restarting production today against the rules of Alameda County. I will be online with everyone. If someone is arrested, I ask that it be only me. “

Three Fremont employees told CNBC they should return to work this week, but only wanted it if the plant was found to be safe in the midst of the pandemic. The employees requested that their names not be released as they were not authorized by the company to conduct media interviews.

One of them stated that he had started looking for another job, fearing that he would not be able to comply with the security protocols, including social distancing and other measures, recommended to protect himself from Covid-19 when mounting cars in Fremont. Failure to adhere to the protocols could result in their illness or dismissal, followed by their disentitlement from unemployment, they said.

Employees at the factory often perform physically strenuous tasks nearby while touching the same equipment. They don’t have much time to take time off to wash their hands, all employees noted, and the factory bathrooms are not always in perfect condition.

CNBC asked local authorities how they would react to the reopening of the Tesla plant against county health orders and the recommendations of Acting Public Health Officer Dr. Erica Pan.

A spokesperson for the office of Fremont District Supervisor in Alameda County, Shawn Wilson, wrote in an e-mail response: “The order states that your application question is left to the marketing agency. local police, so your question should be directed to the Fremont Police Service. If Tesla violates the order, it would be the decision of the Fremont Police Department to apply or not to apply. The Fremont Police Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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