EV manufacturer company Tesla is isolating thousands of workers in China in abandoned factories and an old military camp to ensure they are COVID-19-free, as part of a large-scale plan by the company to boost production at its Shanghai plant as the city returns from lockdown.
According to those involved with the situation, the workers must be isolated for 48 to 72 hours to meet regulatory standards before they may join other employees already within the factory “bubble.”
Once the two groups of employees are combined, they will be accommodated in a campsite and disused factories near Tesla’s facility equipped with mobile toilets and showers. Special buses will transport them from the temporary housing to the manufacturing site every day.
Tesla is getting increasingly eager to resume manufacturing in the face of China’s aggressive COVID Zero strategy, which seeks to suppress any new COVID cases.
Thousands of Tesla employees have been sleeping on the floor of the company’s facility in Shanghai, working 12-hour shifts six days a week to restart production following a weeks-long shutdown. At this point, Tesla wants to place those workers in a closed-loop until June 13, according to the sources, who declined to be identified because since the plans are private.
According to the unidentified sources, Tesla is also attempting to launch a second shift at the facility next week so that car manufacturing can restart around the clock once the supply of auto parts and other components improves.
Executives are now negotiating with Shanghai authorities over accommodation for workers on the existing and planned shifts, the people said. According to one of the people, they could be housed in temporary dorms or vacant Covid isolation centers.
The problems businesses face to continue operations in Covid Zero China are exemplified by Tesla’s operational struggle to maintain near-normal production.
While the rest of the world accepts and lives with the disease, China continues to fight it with more restrictive measures like frequent mass testing and mobility restrictions. But will they ever be able to return to their normal lives?