Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has announced Tesla’s plans to send its employees back to work and restart production amid the coronavirus pandemic. Musk challenged the Alameda County government officials blocking the reopening of his plant by filing a lawsuit. The lawsuit stated, “Alameda County’s power-grab not only defies the governor’s order, but offends the federal and California constitutions.”  

Musk called the local health officer fighting against this wishes to reopen, “unelected and ignorant” and the shutdown orders fascist and unconstitutional, “breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong.” Musk threatened to move Tesla’s headquarters and manufacturing out of California. 

On May 9, Musk retweeted a tweet from Tesla that linked to a blog post about getting back to work. In the post, Tesla states that it has “started the process of resuming operations… our employees are excited to get back to work, and we’re doing so with their health and safety in mind.” 

Tesla has also released a 38-page book titled, Return To Work Playbook. In the book, safety protocols such as disinfecting work areas, guidelines for practicing social distancing and its plan to provide personal protective equipment are discussed in detail. The plan does not include testing employees for the coronavirus, but it does call for taking their temperatures daily. 

Although some carmakers had announced reopenings, such as Ford Moto Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Toyota Moto Corp., their plans were called off because of statewide shutdown orders. Daimler AG has reopened a Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama. No other carmaker has taken the same public stance as Musk against health officials.

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