Employees at Tesla’s Shanghai factory are reportedly being forced to live at work following a three-week shutdown due to a recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases in China. The company will hand out sleeping bags and mattresses to its employees, who will be made to sleep on the floor while operating in a so-called ‘closed-loop’ system, according to Bloomberg.
Tesla is one of several manufacturers in Shanghai that are preparing to resume operations after the government enforced a lockdown on the populous city on March 28. But multinational companies have been putting pressure on the government to ease its restrictions so that they can go back to production, even if it means that their workers can’t leave the premises.
The electric car manufacturer sent out a memo to its employees that details some of the conditions that they will be forced to live under, according to reporters at Bloomberg who say they viewed that memo. Tesla will reportedly hand out a sleeping bag and mattress to each employee, there will be designated areas on the floor for people to sleep on, in addition to areas for showering, catering and entertainment. Employees will be given three meals a day, and an allowance of 400 yuan (or the equivalent of $US63 ($87)).
Tesla will also follow regulations to avoid the spread of COVID-19 by requiring employees to take a nuclei acid test once a day for the first three days, have their temperatures checked twice a day and wash their hands four times a day.
Companies wishing to resume operations in Shanghai had to submit detailed plans on how they’re going to stop the spread of COVID-19 at their work places to the local health authorities before they were given the go-ahead, according to the South China Morning Post.
Tesla reportedly began operating under the closed-loop system on Monday, and workers are currently scheduled to continue living at the factory until May 1.
Three people have died of COVID-19 in Shanghai during the latest outbreak of the virus while tens of thousands of cases are being reported on a daily basis, the city announced on Monday. Although the numbers are relatively low compared to the pandemic’s initial onset, which has infected around 1.55 million in China, authorities are taking aggressive measures to stop the spread as part of the country’s zero tolerance approach to the virus.
But Shanghai is home to thousands of local and international companies that have been fidgeting under the most recent restrictions, resorting to extreme measures in order to maintain business as usual. Shortly after the lockdown, the Wall Street Journal reported several cases of employees being summoned to sleep by their desks at a number of banks and other financial institutions in Shanghai.
Tesla’s Shanghai factory produces a little less than 2,000 cars a day, which means it’s missed out around 40,000 units since the lockdown began but the company is hoping to make up for lost time under its new dystopian measures, reportedly forcing employees to work 12 hours a day, six days a week, according to Bloomberg.