Juneteenth a US holiday at Tesla, SpaceX: Elon Musk

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has announced that Juneteenth would henceforth be considered a US holiday at the two companies. This is an apparent reversal of a previous policy from the two companies at a time when other companies - from Twitter, Uber, Spotify to Nike - have also declared Juneteenth as an annual American holiday.

File photo: An outside view of Tesla plant in Fremont, California. (REUTERS)
File photo: An outside view of Tesla plant in Fremont, California.

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and is held on June 19th. It has received renewed focus in current times due to the killing of Floyd George, an American of African origin, at the hands of cops in Minnesota which triggered massive race-related debates and protests in the country.

There were some reports that several employees of Tesla were contemplating protests if Juneteenth was not declared a holiday by the company. Musk himself has had to face criticism for not commenting on the controversy related to Floyd's death or the larger question of racial equality.

This may have prompted Musk to take to Twitter to declare Juneteenth a paid holiday for employees in the US. "Juneteenth is henceforth considered a US holiday at Tesla & SpaceX," he tweeted.

Tesla is also learnt to have written an email to US employees. "Tesla fully supports Juneteenth for any US employee that wants to take the day off to celebrate, reflect or participate in events that are meaningful to you," the communication read, according to Electrek.

At a time when Musk is trying to get Tesla to ramp up production - especially of Model Y SUVs, after weeks of work suspension due to Covid-19 crisis, there is speculation that the company was unwilling to declare Juneteenth a holiday because it would impact the day's productivity. The official declaration now may put all controversies to rest

First Published Date: 20 Jun 2020, 15:34 PM IST
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