The state of California might not be having it with Elon Musk who had initially threatened to move Tesla, his electric vehicle company out of the state as Musk’s second company, SpaceX requested for a US$655,500 in state ob and training funds.
The California state panel made the rejection on Friday citing the recent rift between Elon Musk and the state’s local officials against the opening of Tesla which was against the Shelter-in-place measures due to the Coronavirus pandemic which was meant to further help in flattening the curve.
Five members of the California’s Employment Training Panel voted to reject the proposal but only two voted for it and with one member absent, after discussing Musk’s tweets on Tesla’s reopening and media reports of layoffs at SpaceX’s Hawthorne, California headquarters in recent years.
“In my opinion, given the recent threats of the CEO to leave the state of California, and everything else we’ve discussed today, this proposal does not rise to the level for me to feel secure in supporting it,” said Gretchen Newsom, a panel member and the political director of an IBEW electrical workers union local.
“SpaceX is a different company, but they have the same CEO,” said Newsom, who is not related to California Governor Gavin Newsom. Though a small amount of money, the funding was opposed by organized labor groups. Tesla and SpaceX are both nonunion shops.
The funding from the state employment development fund was meant to help SpaceX train about 900 employees for it’s Starlink satellite project as well as hiring of 300 staffs to work on the Starship program. But whether the company intends to move forward with its hiring after the Friday’s rejection is yet unknown.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The disagreement between the Alameda County and Tesla gained national attention and officials from other states like Texas, Nevada, Georgia, Utah and Oklahoma have pitched Musk about considering their state for existing operation as well as new factory just as the company had promised in the past.