If you have been following anything Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has been up to since the lockdown you know very well that he has been championing employees returning to work. The Tesla CEO seems to have won his battle against California lawmakers this week. With the Fremont factory in the San Francisco Bay Area falling under the stay at home law within California. His employees have had to stay home without continuing to manufacture vehicles, but that all changes Monday May 18th.
Elon Musk has openly called the stay at home policy and reactions to COVID-19 stupid, a pandemic that has killed over 80,000 US citizens and counting. A pandemic that has had severe outbreaks in factories that were vented properly and required employees to work closely together. From the meatpacking industries to Amazon warehouses. Elon Musk equates the stay at home order to being forcibly imprisoned at your own home.
Tesla employees, as you can imagine, are not excited to return to work this upcoming Monday. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out this mindset doesn’t have employees best interests at heart. This opening of the factory can easily lead to many cases of COVID-19 and puts many of his employees at risk just to hit vehicle quotas. California lawmakers allowing this to happen shows how much Tesla pays in taxes is worth to the state as they try to calm Elon Musk down from possibly moving out of state.
Many manufacturing plants have begun reopening as well in other states. Using measures like splitting working shifts to limit employee interactions and improving social distancing. Tesla adds they will implement similar measures while adding they will take temperatures regularly, clean factory regularly, and distribute protective equipment.
As you can imagine, in a factory where interacting and working on something that gets touched by someone prior to you working on it, social distancing alone will not keep your employees safe. This is a bold and misguided move by Tesla’s CEO and we can only hope it doesn’t blow up in his face.