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Elon Musk tells Tesla employees: go back to the office or go

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 in Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week,”[ads1]; Musk wrote in the email sent Tuesday night.

“If you do not show up, we assume you have resigned.”

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“The more senior you are, the more visible your presence must be,” Musk wrote. “That’s why I lived in the factory so much – so that those on the line could see me working with them. If I had not, Tesla would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.”

Two sources confirmed the authenticity of the email, which was reviewed by Reuters. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

Large technology companies in Silicon Valley do not require workers to return to the office full time, in the face of opposition 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.

“Of course there are companies that do not require this, but when was the last time they sent a great new product? It’s been a while,” Musk wrote in the email.

“Tesla has and will create and actually produce the most exciting and meaningful products for any company on earth. This will not happen by calling it in.”

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

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

Some Tesla workers expressed dissatisfaction with Musk’s recent comments in posts they posted on the anonymous Blind app, which require users to register using the company’s email as proof of company employment.

“If it’s a mass exodus, how would Tesla complete projects? I do not think investors would be happy about that,” wrote a Tesla employee.

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

A California-based working group attacked Musk’s return plan.

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

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

In May 2020, Musk reopened a Tesla plant in Fremont, California, and defied Alameda County’s shutdown efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Tesla reported 440 cases at the factory from May to December 2020, according to county data obtained by the Plainsite website for legal information.

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

Musk has previously downplayed the risk of coronavirus, saying “coronavirus panic is stupid” and children were “essentially immune” to the coronavirus. He later received covid-19 twice.

Musk said last month, “American people try to avoid going to work at all,” while Chinese workers “do not even want to leave the factory type.”

“They want to burn the 03.00 oil,” he said at a conference.

Tesla’s Shanghai plant has worked hard to increase production following the closure of the Chinese economic hub, which forced the plant to close for 22 days.

While some major employers have embraced volunteering guidelines from home permanently, others, including Alphabet Incs (GOOGL.O) Google, are asking employees to return to the office gradually.

Alphabet has required employees to be in offices at least three days a week from the beginning of April, but many employees have been approved for teleworking.

Twitter boss Parag Agrawal tweeted in March that Twitter offices would reopen, but employees could still work from home if they preferred.

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Reporting of Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco and Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Paresh Dave; Edited by Anil D’Silva, Jonathan Oatis and Howard Goller

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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