Tesla employees protest opening of Fremont factory
Elissa Harrington reports.
FREMONT, Calif. – A group of protesters rallied outside the Fremont manufacturing plant today, calling for CEO Elon Musk to be arrested and jailed.
Carlos Gabriel is an employee, and has refused to return to work. “I’m worried for my health,” said Gabriel.
Gabriel is worried about the spread of COVID-19 and the difficulty of social distancing in the workplace. “I’m very disappointed in the leadership. I’m very disappointed in Elon Musk putting profits over the health of his workers,” said Gabriel.
Activist groupls United Public Workers for Action and Workers Solidarity Action Network organized the rally outside the plant. “What is going here today is a travesty,” said Steve Zeltzer with Public Workers for Action Advocacy.
They accuse Musk of putting workers in harms way by sending them back to work during the pandemic.
Zeltzer said, “Elon Musk who is a billionaire has said he is above the law. He doesn’t have to follow the shelter in place law and he said you come and arrest me. Well I say the government here in Fremont and the government of California should arrest him.”
It has been a contentious time for Tesla.
Musk threatened to move Tesla out of California because Alameda County would not allow Tesla to resume manufacturing. Days later, county health officials approved plans to reopen the plant.
”I think there’s obviously a lot of tension between employees and the management there,” said Michael Coates, editor of Clean Fleet Report. “Putting up a new factory is a big operation. Just adding on the line of model 3 at the Fremont plant took well over a year and so putting a brand new plant from the ground up is a major operation and I don’t see that happening for years.”
Musk has not commented on claims made by the protesters.