Workers at Elon Musk’s Tesla factory in California have been endowed with ‘essential workforce’ status and will be exempted from the new coronavirus restrictions with effect from November 21. The decision comes after reports of CEO Elon Musk’s back and forth with the state authorities over the ban for containment of COVID-19 emerged. Musk threatened to shut down the business and relocate Tesla HQ out of California to Texas or Nevada. According to a Guardian report, Musk pushed for his Tesla’s Fremont factory to operate “as usual” after Alameda County’s health department issued orders to close down the electric carmaker. Furthermore, the CEO sued the county under federal and California constitutions calling restrictions as ‘power grab’.
Tesla had filed a lawsuit at San Francisco federal court, accusing the Alameda County of violating the constitution after Musk sought permission from California’s governor to keep the factory open. Gov. Gavin Newsom had issued orders for the manufacturers in the state to operate normally and had exempted the state factories from restrictions to keep the trade and commerce running. Tesla Inc alleged that the Alameda authorities were defying the governor’s order.
Due to the rise in #COVID19 cases, CA is issuing a limited Stay at Home Order.
Non-essential work and gatherings must stop from 10pm-5am in counties in the purple tier.
This will take effect at 10pm on Saturday and remain for 1 month.
Together–we can flatten the curve again.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) November 19, 2020
‘Last carmaker’ left in CA
“Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately. The unelected and ignorant ‘Interim Health Officer’ of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms and just plain common sense,” CEO Elon Musk had tweeted. “Frankly, this is the final straw,” Musk said, adding, he was moving the factory out of California and any manufacturing will be based on “how Tesla is treated in the future.” Musk warned, “ Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA”.
The November 21 restrictions exempted Tesla Inc workers within the state from a stay at home order as the government labelled the manufacturing unit as ‘Essential business’. The curfew to stem the COVID-19 spread prohibited the nonessential movement 10 pm and 5 am and restricted outdoor public gathering. According to a press release, the California governor in the new advisory asked the counties to “maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors and additional sectors” as it designated a list of ‘Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers’.