Tesla Furloughs Workers, Cuts Salaries

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the new Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010. The new Tesla factory is the former NUMMI plant. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Elon Musk’s Tesla will reportedly be furloughing non-essential workers and cutting employee salaries. Cuts will reportedly remain in place through the second quarter.

Reuters reports that Tesla has told employees this week that it plans to furlough all non-essential workers and implement salary cuts during the shut down of its U.S. production facilities due to the Chinese virus pandemic. Tesla planned to resume normal operations on May 4 according to an email sent to U.S employees by in-house counsel Valerie Capers Workman.

Tesla suspended production at its San Francisco Bay Area vehicle and New York solar roof tile factories on March 24. Pay for salaried Tesla employees will reportedly be reduced from April 13 and cuts will remain in place until the second quarter.

In the United States, workers’ pay will be cut by 10 percent, directors’ salaries by 20 percent, and vice presidents’ salaries by 30 percent. Employees unable to work from home that have not been assigned to critical work at the firm’s factories will be furloughed with workers maintaining their healthcare benefits until production resumes.

The order for Tesla to shut down operations came from the sheriff’s office shortly after Tesla began to increase the production of its Model Y sport-utility vehicle at the California factory. Alameda is one of nine counties covered by a “shelter in place” order that limits activity, travel, and business function to only the essentials and advises individuals to stay at home except for the most important trips.

“Tesla is not an essential business as defined in the Alameda County Health Order. Tesla can maintain minimum basic operations per the Alameda County Health Order,” the spokesman said. The order states that non-essential businesses can only maintain minimum basic operations such as maintaining inventory value, ensuring security and processing payroll. Violations could result in a fine, imprisonment, or both.

On March 20, Tesla stated that it believed it had enough liquidity to successfully navigate the extended period of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The company reported $6.3 billion in cash at the end of the third quarter following a recent $2.3 billion capital raise.

Breitbart News recently reported that after promising to deliver ventilators to hospitals treating Chinese virus patients in Los Angles, Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly delivered a number of CPAP machines that are not recommended for the treatment for coronavirus, which can “pump viruses into the air” according to experts.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stated that he shipped 1,225 ventilators from China to Los Angeles as medical facilities across the United States face shortages due to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. In a press conference last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) stated that Musk has delivered 1,000 ventilators to help California hospitals dealing with the Pandemic. “I told you a few days ago that [Musk] was likely to have 1,000 ventilators this week,” Newsom said. “They’ve arrived in Los Angeles… It was a heroic effort.”

Now it seems that the ventilators that Musk delivered were not actually medical-grade ventilators, but rather CPAP machines that are not recommended for the treatment of the Chinese virus, according to reports.

CPAP machines are reportedly not recommended for the treatment of Wuhan coronavirus patients as without a proper filtration system, CPAP machines can actually increase the spread of infectious disease by aerosolizing the virus. NPR detailed this in a recent article.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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