Another game of California cat and Tesla mouse may be getting underway—a reverse of the game that played out in March, as the carmaker went back and forth with the local authorities, trying to keep production going as long as possible.
A couple of days ago, Bloomberg reported that staff working in paint and stamping operations had been asked to return on April 29, earlier than the previously announced reopening date of May 4. Now the word is that a paint department supervisor told employees not to come in this week.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed Mayor and other Bay Area county authorities have just announced that the shelter-in-place order will be extended until May 31. How many and which Tesla employees are coming back to work, and when? Dear reader, your guess is as good as ours.
The automaker suspended vehicle production on March 23, and has since had a skeleton crew working on upgrading production lines in order to increase Model Y production capacity. Credit Suisse analysts have estimated that the factory shutdown is costing Tesla some $300 million per week.
Meanwhile, Gigafactory 1 in Nevada is scheduled to reopen on May the 4th (Star Wars Day), according to Mike Kazmierski, President of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (via KOLO TV).
There will be several new rules in place to ensure employee safety. Workers will be required to wear masks at some workstations, and to practice social distancing. Tesla has set up partitions around workstation that are less than 6 feet apart. Janitors will disinfect door handles regularly, and hand sanitizer, masks and gloves will be available. Transportation shuttles will operate at 30 percent of capacity to give employees enough space to sit 6 feet apart.
Tesla will be screening employees’ body temperatures as they arrive at the plant. In case any employees test positive for COVID-19, they will be interviewed and their movements tracked to try to find out how they got infected, and who else might have been exposed.