Tesla Workers Say They 'Feel Abandoned' Amid Growing Virus Cases

Rebekah Sager
July 15, 2020 - 7:46 am

    Tesla workers at the Fremont, California plant say their concerns are being ignored, despite the fact that more than 100 people have tested positive for COVID-19, and thousands more have been exposed. 

    Tesla employes about 10,000 people at the Fremont plant. 

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    "I feel abandoned, we all feel abandoned," Tesla employee Branton Phillips told CBS San Francisco. Phillips adds that workers aren't being told about coronavirus numbers. 

    Phillips adds that the company is not adequately communicating with workers about coronavirus cases at its Fremont plant.

    One former Tesla worker says rules at the plant about social distancing and wearing masks are not being enforced, and there are no reports of equipment being sanitized. 

    Workers say everything change after CEO Elon Musk threatened to leave the state if county offices refused to reopen the plant. 

    In June, two former Tesla employees claim they were fired despite being told they could stay home over fears of contracting coronavirus.

    Back in May, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an email to workers at the company’s Fremont, California factory saying they would not be penalized if they didn’t feel comfortable returning to work at the newly reopened plant.

    If “you feel uncomfortable coming back to work at this time, please do not feel obligated to do so,” Musk wrote, according to the Washington Post.

    But Carlos Gabriel and Jessica Naro say they received termination notices from the company’s human resources department citing “failure to return to work” after they both took unpaid leave and stayed home amid safety concerns, the outlet reported.

    CBS News contributed to this story.