Elon Musk wins battle for production to restart in Alameda County, California, despite Coronavirus shutdown
Two days ago Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk asked for the police to arrest him.
Why? Because his announcement said Tesla was restoring production against Alameda County coronavirus rules in California. “If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me,” he wrote.
In a blog on its website, Tesla said May 9 that “Our restart plan is the result of months of careful planning and preparation. It was modeled after the comprehensive return to work plan we established at our Shanghai Gigafactory, which has seen smooth and healthy operations for the last three months.”
In another May 11 tweet, Musk said “all other auto companies in the US are approved to resume. Only Tesla has been singled out. This is super messed up!”
Just today (May 13), Alameda agreed to allow Tesla to open – if certain conditions were met, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Alameda’s County Public Health Department announced on Twitter Wednesday that Tesla’s Fremont, California plant “will be able to go beyond basic operations this week and start making vehicles this coming Monday” (May 18), as long as Tesla “delivers on the worker safety precautions that it agreed to,” according to Fox News.
Police will be monitoring to see that Tesla holds up their part of the agreement. For the factory to stay open, public health factors must improve or remain stable at worst.
On Monday, the day Musk tweeted about reopening, Alameda Health Department warned Tesla the company was reopening in violation of the health order and said it hopes Tesla complies “without further enforcement measures.”
California State law allows for fines of up to $1,000 a day or up to 90 days in jail for operation in violation of health orders. We will have to wait to see if Musk or Tesla face such consequences.
Musk has since threatened to move the Tesla headquarters from California, and he’s already filed a lawsuit against Alameda County.
“In the lawsuit, Tesla alleges the shutdown ignores an earlier order from California Gov. Gavin Newsom that permits businesses in ’16 crucial infrastructure industries,’ including transportation, to continue work. It alleges the decision is both unconstitutional and “inexplicable” and says there is “no rational basis” for the facility’s closure,” according to Business Insider.
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