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Group gathers to protest Tesla employees going back to work

Bay Area

FREMONT, Calif. (KRON) — In the East Bay, a handful of people showed up to protest the fact that Tesla employees are going back to work.

They gathered outside Tesla headquarters.

Even though Alameda County and Tesla have worked out a deal to allow the company to begin manufacturing this week, there is concern about workers’ safety in regards to COVID-19.

Among the protesters outside Tesla’s headquarters, Saturday afternoon, a Tesla employee.

“I have to say I’m very disappointed in Elon Musk for putting profits over the health of his workers,” Carlos Gabriel said.

Gabriel is a production associate at the Fremont plant. He is concerned about a COVID-19 outbreak in the facility that employs 10,000 people who commute as far as 100 miles away.

“I worry for my health,” Gabriel said. “I don’t think there’s a scenario where this virus cannot be contracted or be contained within this factory.”

Members of the workers solidarity action network gathered outside Tesla’s factory to voice their concerns about employees returning to work during shelter in place orders.

After tension between CEO Elon Musk and Alameda County, the two sides worked out a deal to reopen its factory and get the assembly line rolling.

“What is going on here today is a travesty,” Steve Zeltzer said. “Workers in auto plants and essential places around the country are being contaminated daily.”

Zeltzer traveled from San Francisco.

“We’re also here to demand that Governor Newsom have CAL Osha inspectors here,” Zeltzer said.

Zeltzer says CAL Osha should visit the site to make sure employees are safe from getting sick.

A Tesla employee tells me off camera workers’ temperatures are taken before they enter the building, are given masks and hand sanitizer is available throughout the factory.

But that is not enough for this group.

“If other bosses do that you’ll have an escalation of the COVID crisis that threatens not just the workers here but the public and there is going to be increased escalation of COVID,” Zeltzer said.

We reached out to CAL Osha and Tesla about these concerns but have not heard back.

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