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Tesla Tells Berlin Workers To Stay Home As Protesters Storm Gigafactory

No Tesla employees were at the German gigafactory as they were previously instructed by the company to take the day off

 Tesla Tells Berlin Workers To Stay Home As Protesters Storm Gigafactory

  • German climate activists attempted to enter Tesla’s assembly plant on Friday.
  • Police used batons and pepper spray to stop the protestors, arresting a handful of them in the process.
  • Protestors say that even electric vehicles worsen climate change because of the environmental cost of manufacturing them.

German climate activists continue to demonstrate against Tesla’s assembly plant near Berlin, Germany. This week, the protestors clashed with police after scaling fences outside the plant that were meant to keep wildlife out.

The activists, made up of a coalition groups who have set up tree houses in the forest surrounding the plant, say they want to protect local drinking water supplies and support the will of the people in the surrounding area, who voted against a proposed plant expansion – though the final decision is up to the local council.

Read: Activists Demonstrate Against Tesla’s German Gigafactory Expansion Plans With Tree Houses

However, on Friday, the activists attempted to break into the plant, but were stopped by police, reports Welt. Authorities used batons and pepper spray to rebuff the protestors, and reports indicate that three officers and one demonstrator were injured in the fracas. A single-digit number of people were detained during the initial confrontation, but further arrests were reported later in the day, as protestors attempted to block the road into the facility.

Fortunately, no Tesla workers were on-hand during the melee, as the employees had been told not to come to the plant on Friday. While the automaker noted the possible protests in a memo to its employees, the day off had been planned in advance, as an extra rest day between a shutdown on Thursday (for a public holiday) and the weekend. However, while the scheduled day off was originally intended for specific production line workers, Tesla ultimately decided to have all employees stay home, according to German outlet RTL.

“Without the explicit instruction and authority of your manager, access to the site or factory will not be possible,” Tesla wrote to its employees in an email seen by Handelsblatt.

In addition to objecting to plant expansion, protestors say they oppose electric cars in general, claiming they are not the climate solution they are advertised by automakers like Tesla. The activists say that the ecological cost of producing EVs “further drives the global climate catastrophe.”

Protest groups previously halted production at Tesla’s German facility, the automaker’s only assembly plant in Europe, by sabotaging the electrical lines and shutting down power to the location in March.

 Tesla Tells Berlin Workers To Stay Home As Protesters Storm Gigafactory

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