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Tesla workers not headed back to Fremont plant this month, report says

Tesla shut its plant down on March 23 after resisting earlier calls to close, and this new date is an earlier restart than local coronavirus guidance calls for.

Tesla Fremont factory
Back to work in just two days?
James Martin/CNET
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Tesla reportedly asked dozens of workers employed at its assembly plant in Fremont, California, to return to work starting April 29, CNBC reported Sunday. On Monday, Bloomberg reported that won't be the case after all.

The CNBC report cited "internal messages" furloughed workers at the Fremont plant received. However, a new email Bloomberg obtained said workers are now scheduled to slowly return to work a day after local stay-at-home orders were meant to lift on May 3. Local government announced on Monday the orders will now go through the end of May. It's unclear if this decision impacts Tesla's doings and the automaker did not return a request for comment.

Other automakers target early May to restart production at US factories, though the United Auto Workers union believes returning so soon is not a reasonable goal.

CNBC reported the return-to-work date after receiving "internal messages" from furloughed Fremont factory workers. The employees, unidentified to protect their identities, said they're happy to return to work but expressed concerns as the coronavirus remains present in the area. Alameda County reported a total of 1,468 confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the weekend. Before it shuttered the factory, Tesla began to take some health and safety steps for workers, however. UAW's concerns have included the necessary proximity of workers on production lines in contravention of safe social distancing.

Local officials ordered the plant to close on March 19, though the electric carmaker continued building cars until March 23, when both the company and officials ironed out any confusion surrounding the local stay-at-home order and what was considered an essential business. For Tesla, the shutdown came at a poor time; the Model Y electric crossover was just beginning deliveries across the US.

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Update, 12:28 p.m. PT: Adds new information to suggest Tesla workers will not return this month.