Tesla plans to call some workers back to its assembly plant in Fremont, California staring April 29th, despite a shelter-in-place order in the San Francisco Bay Area in effect through May 3rd, Bloomberg News reported.
Plant leaders sent messages to workers in the Fremont factory’s paint and stamping operations asking them to respond and confirm whether they plan to come to work, according to Bloomberg.
Tesla temporarily shut down its Fremont plant March 23rd but continued trying to convince local officials that the factory was an “essential business” that shouldn’t be subject to the shelter-in-place order. The company argued it should be categorized as “national critical infrastructure” under the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
However, the Alameda County health officer determined that keeping the plant open was a public health risk, and Fremont police chief Kimberly Petersen told Tesla the rules would not be suspended for the Fremont facility.
It’s not clear what action the Fremont police department would take if workers returned to the Fremont plant before the shelter-in-place order is lifted. An email to the department was not immediately returned Sunday morning.
The Fremont plant produces Tesla’s Model 3, Model S, Model X, and Model Y vehicles.
Several other automakers are looking to restart production in early May, but GM and Ford still have not announced official reopening dates. The United Auto Workers union says for its members, it believes opening in early May is “too soon and too risky.” Ford and GM are union shops, Tesla is not.
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment from The Verge on Sunday.