Tesla furloughed 11,000 California workers in coronavirus before contentious restart
Tesla, California county officials reach deal to reopen plant next week
Alameda County in California has agreed to let Tesla reopen if certain safety protocols are followed.
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Automaker Tesla furloughed more than 11,000 workers in Fremont, California, before CEO Elon Musk's contentious decision to restart production before receiving the green light from county officials, filings with the state Employment Development Department (EDD) show.
The temporary layoffs were effective April 13 and also applied to 156 workers in Lathrop, California, according to Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices EDD received from Tesla on Tuesday.
"We decided to furlough these employees as a result of COVID-19, including a sudden and unpredictable impact on Tesla's operations and employees," Valerie Workman, a human resources executive for Tesla, said in a letter to EDD according to The East Bay Times.
TESLA RAMPS UP US RESTART AFTER DEFYING COUNTY ORDERS AT CALIFORNIA PLANT
Musk has been a big proponent of resuming normal business operations, writing that the "coronavirus panic is dumb" in March and demanding in a tweet last month, "FREE AMERICA NOW."
Officials in California's Alameda County who said Musk restarted the Fremont plant too early agreed that Tesla could go beyond basic operations there this week. It wasn't clear from a press release whether Tesla would face any punishment for reopening Monday in defiance of county orders.