Elon Musk tells Tesla employees: Go back to the office or leave

June 1 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) CEO Elon Musk has asked employees to return to the office or leave the company, according to an email sent to employees and seen by Reuters.

“Everyone at Tesla is required to spend at least 40 hours in the office per week,” Musk wrote in the email sent on Tuesday evening.

“If you don’t show up, we’ll assume you quit.”

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Musk wrote, “The older you are, the more visible your presence should be. That’s why I lived in the factory so often — so those on the line could see me working alongside them. If I didn’t, Tesla would have gone bankrupt a while ago.” long “.

Two sources confirmed the authenticity of the email seen by Reuters. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

Major tech companies in Silicon Valley are not asking workers to return to their offices full-time, in the face of resistance from some workers and a resurgence of coronavirus cases in California.

Tesla has moved its headquarters to Austin, Texas, but has its engineering base and one of its factories in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“There are of course companies that don’t order it, but when was the last time you shipped a great new product? It’s been a while,” Musk wrote in the email.

“Tesla has made and will indeed make the most exciting and meaningful products of any company on earth. It won’t happen by calling them.”

One of Musk’s followers on Twitter posted another email that Musk apparently sent to executives asking them to work in the office for at least 40 hours a week or to “leave Tesla.”

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In response to this tweet, the billionaire who agreed to acquire Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) In a $44 billion deal, he said, “They should pretend to work elsewhere.”

Some Tesla workers have expressed dissatisfaction with Musk’s recent comments in posts they made to the anonymous app Blind, which requires users to sign up using the company’s email as proof of employment in companies.

One Tesla employee wrote, “If there was a mass exodus, how would Tesla finish projects? I don’t think investors would be happy about that.”

“Waiting for him to back off very quickly,” another worker wrote.

A California-based labor advocacy group has attacked Musk’s return to office.

“Employers, including the state government, are finding that forcing all employees to return is a recipe for an outbreak,” Stephen Knight, CEO of Worksafe, wrote in a statement emailed to Reuters.

“Unfortunately, Tesla’s disregard for worker safety is well documented, including their violation of the county public health department at the start of the pandemic,” he wrote.

In May 2020, Musk reopened the Tesla plant in Fremont, California, defying Alameda County’s lockdown measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Tesla reported 440 cases at the plant from May to December 2020, according to county data obtained by legal information site Plainsite.

Last year, Musk rocket company SpaceX reported 132 cases of COVID-19 at its headquarters in Hawthorne, Los Angeles, according to county data.

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Musk previously played down the risks of the coronavirus, saying that “coronavirus panic is stupid” and that children are “essentially immune” to the coronavirus. Later he contracted COVID-19 twice.

“The American people are trying to avoid going to work at all,” Musk said last month, while Chinese workers “wouldn’t kind of leave factories.”

“They will burn oil at three in the morning,” he said at a conference.

Tesla’s Shanghai factory is running at full capacity to ramp up production after the shutdown of the Chinese economic hub forced the plant to shut down for 22 days.

While some large employers have permanently adopted home volunteering policies, others, including Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) Google, is asking employees to return to the office gradually.

Alphabet has asked employees to be in offices at least three days a week starting in early April, but many employees have been approved to work entirely remotely.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted in March that Twitter offices would open but employees can still work from home if they wish.

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Additional reporting by Hyungo Jin in San Francisco and Teichi Datta in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Dave Parrish. Editing by Anil de Silva, Jonathan Otis and Howard Guller

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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