In an email to employees late Thursday night, electric car maker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced plans to restart limited production at its Fremont, California factory today, May 8, reports CNBC. The plant is located in Alameda County, however, which has extended its shelter-in-place order through May 31, 2020.
The county order, which was updated on April 29, 2020, allows for construction projects and "certain outdoor businesses" to operate with safety protocols in place. It is not clear if Tesla's plans comply with Alameda County instructions. Prior to the extension of the local stay-at-home order, the company was planning to resume production on May 3, 2020. Tesla suspended operations at the plant on March 24, 2020, after discussions with local officials as to whether it could be treated as an essential business and allowed to continue operating.
Valerie Capers Workman, head of Human Resources at Tesla, reportedly sent one email to employees telling them it planned to bring back about 30% of workers that would typically run an operating shift. The report also said that CEO Elon Musk sent a separate email to workers regarding the return to work. In his email, Musk cited California Gov. Newsom's updated industry guidance saying that the state would modify its stay-at-home order beginning May 8 to allow "some lower-risk workplaces can gradually open with adaptations." The manufacturing sector is included in the state's "Phase 2" reopening plan, but local, county-level orders supersede the state guidance, according to the report.
Musk reportedly told workers that if they did not feel comfortable reporting to work, they did not need to do so. He also wrote that he would "be on the line personally helping wherever I can."