One week after Tesla stated it will sustain “regular” operations on the Gigafactory in Nevada, the corporate now plans to cut back the workforce there by “greater than 75 %” because the state shelters in place to struggle the novel coronavirus. Panasonic, which helps make Tesla’s batteries in a piece of the Gigafactory, suspended its operations there final week. Legacy automakers have additionally halted manufacturing operations in the US amid the pandemic.
Tesla has already paused some nonessential operations on the manufacturing unit and is encouraging workers to make money working from home if attainable, which has “considerably” decreased the variety of individuals exhibiting as much as work each day, in line with an e-mail obtained by the Reno Gazette-Journal. The corporate expects to be right down to solely important “provide chain” work by subsequent week, in addition to roles like safety, facility upkeep, restricted crucial manufacturing, and IT assist.
It’s unclear if the Gigafactory employees who’re being informed to remain dwelling are being supplied paid or unpaid depart. Tesla didn’t reply to a request for remark. The corporate is paying the hourly workers at its different factories throughout comparable shutdowns, although it additionally lately made its first pandemic-induced workforce cut in Norway.
Tesla is taking various steps to scale back the prospect of spreading the novel coronavirus among the many workers who will maintain coming into work, in line with the e-mail. The corporate will shut some entrances and can carry out temperature checks on the entrances that stay open. Hand sanitizer will likely be required upon entry. Employees must keep six ft aside, together with within the cafeteria, the place the corporate will solely have one chair per desk. Work stations will likely be disinfected twice per shift, too.
On Thursday, Tesla confirmed two workplace workers had examined optimistic for COVID-19, however didn’t specify the place these employees have been positioned. The corporate stated in an inside e-mail that the workers “had been working from dwelling for almost two weeks” earlier than they examined optimistic for COVID-19.
Information of the partial shutdown of the Gigafactory was first introduced by the native county supervisor, Austin Osborne, in a post on the local government’s website late Thursday.
“Our corporations at TRIC [the industrial park where Tesla operates] are taking the COVID-19 matter severely, and frequently report back to us the measures they’re taking to stick to the established pointers whereas sustaining important operations,” Osborne wrote. “Checking worker temperatures, creating central entry, permitting distant work, sustaining workstation distance, and others are occurring.” Osborne declined to supply extra data in a follow-up e-mail.
Tesla introduced on March 19th that it was shutting down its electrical automobile manufacturing unit in California and its photo voltaic panel manufacturing unit in New York. The shutdown in California got here nearly a full week after native authorities had carried out a shelter-in-place order that pressured nonessential companies to shut. Tesla additionally briefly shut down its latest Gigafactory in China earlier this yr, although manufacturing there’s again up and working.