Tesla officially restarted production on Monday at its plant in Fremont, California, albeit not on the local government’s terms. CEO Elon Musk confirmed workers are back on the job and specifically said the decision goes against Alameda County’s stay-at-home order.
In fact, Musk said he’s willing to be placed under arrest as the factory restarts.
The CEO’s tweets come after reports of Tesla restarting production on May 11 despite not receiving the green light from the local government. Last Friday, California Governor Gavin Newsom said some manufacturing could begin restarting, but Alameda County — where Tesla’s Fremont factory resides — did not lift its order.
Bay Area CBS News affiliate KPIX reported that workers began moving in and out of Tesla’s plant in . Photos from local Fox news affiliate KTVU show packed parking lots, further indicating workers had returned Monday morning. One worker dialed into KTVU and told the station he arrived for work at 6 p.m. PT on Sunday with his shift ending 6 a.m. Monday morning.
The worker said Tesla is “up and running” and expressed concerns the plant is not following health guidelines. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
This weekend, Tesla published an announcement declaring it would restart operations after the state gave the green light to. All the while, the county said it continued to work with Tesla on Friday, but did not believe it was “appropriate” to send employees back to work yet. The county was supposedly working to give Tesla the OK to return to work on May 18.
It led CEO Elon Musk to announce aagainst the county to reopen the assembly plant this weekend. He also declared the automaker’s headquarters would relocate to Nevada or Texas and floated the possibility of yanking Tesla production out of California in response to the regulations. Musk has gone as far as calling stay-at-home orders “fascist.”
In its return-to-work statement, Tesla detailed the steps it’s taking to restart production and underscored it’s worked with the county and state governments to bring workers back workers’ “health and safety in mind.” The 38-page plan also details steps Tesla implemented at its Fremont factory from learnings at its plant in— the only other Tesla production plant.
Update, 1:48 p.m. PT: Adds comment from Elon Musk via Twitter.