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Musk says 'ready for arrest,' reopens plant against local order

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 12, 2020 - Duration: 01:50s

Musk says 'ready for arrest,' reopens plant against local order

Tesla CEO Elon Musk told employees at its primary vehicle factory in California on Monday to go back to work, despite local officials saying days earlier the plant should remain closed as lockdown measures in California are still in place.

Gloria Tso reports.

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Musk says 'ready for arrest,' reopens plant against local order

CEO Elon Musk says Tesla is restarting production in California in defiance of a county order.

He tweeted Monday (May 11) he would also join workers on the assembly line, and that quote "if anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me." Musk's showdown highlights the challenges U.S. states face to reopen economies.

Local health officials said days earlier the plant should remain closed as lockdown measures in California are still in place.

Over the weekend, Musk threatened to leave California for Texas or Nevada and sued Alameda County, where the factory lies.

In a Monday email from Tesla seen by Reuters, the company said it was resuming production, and worker furloughs would end on Sunday (May 10), thanks to an order last week from California Governor Gavin Newsom allowing manufacturers to resume operations.

However, local officials say they've told Tesla it can't operate without a county-approved plan.

On Monday, Newsom said he spoke to Musk several days ago and that Musk's concerns pushed California to start its phased restart of factories.

"I have great reverence for their technology, for their innovative spirit, for their leadership.

And I have great expectations that we can work through at the county-level the issue with this particular county and this particular company in the next number of days." In its lawsuit, Tesla alleges Alameda county has violated California's constitution by defying Newsom's orders to allow manufacturers to reopen.

Since Musk's threat to leave California Texas, Georgia, Nevada and others have all reached out to Musk on Twitter encouraging him to relocate to their state.

A Texas official invited the billionaire CEO for a visit citing its quote "pro-business governor" and no longer having a shelter-at-home mandate.

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