Tesla boss Elon Musk on Monday said that production at the manufacturing plant in California, defying orders by the local authorities to stay closed. Musk tweeted about the opening of the plant and stated that if anyone had to be arrested, it should be him. In an email seen by Reuters, Tesla referred to an order on Thursday that the California governor had allowed manufacturers to restart operations and said that as of Sunday, Tesla employees were back to their previous employment status.
“We’re happy to get back to work and have implemented very detailed plans to help you keep safe as you return,” according to the email titled “Furlough Has Ended And We Are Back To Work in Production!”
In the tweet yesterday, Musk said that production was resuming Monday, adding that he would stand with the workers on the assembly line. “If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me,” he wrote.
Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2020
Over the weekend, Musk had threatened to leave California for Texas or Nevada over his factory’s closure. This move put focus competition for jobs and states, that have reopened their economies more quickly in response to encouragement from US President Donald Trump, wooing the billionaire executive.
Alameda County health officials have said that they are aware that Tesla has started operations beyond the minimum operations allowed during lockdown, and had notified the company it could not operate without a county-approved plan.
Officials have said in a statement that they expect a proposal from Tesla later on Monday and “hope Tesla will likewise comply without further enforcement measures.” The statement did not specify consequences, however, the county’s order on the lockdown states violations are punishable by fine, imprisonment or both.
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