A new wave of strikes has hit Tesla in Sweden as more unions join forces with Tesla mechanics in their battle against the automaker’s anti-union practices. Dockworkers, maintenance crews, and even postal workers are refusing to engage with Tesla until the company signs an agreement with the country’s Tesla mechanics.
The strike originally began with workers at seven repair shops staging a walkout, but it has quickly escalated into a nationwide freeze-out of the American EV company. The Swedish Transport Workers’ Union, representing 57,000 workers, has announced its intention to block all Tesla vehicles at the country’s ports if the collective bargaining agreement with IF Metall, which represents Tesla mechanics, is not signed. This boycott, which started with four Swedish ports on November 7, has now expanded to all ports in the country.
In addition to the transport workers’ union, the Swedish Building Maintenance Workers’ Union has called for a strike, refusing to clean the four Tesla retail or service centers across Sweden. Even the post office has joined the fight, threatening to halt mail deliveries to Tesla if the deal is not signed by November 20.
Tesla entered Sweden in 2013 and stated its compliance with Swedish labor market rules. However, the company has chosen not to sign a collective agreement, citing the absence of a manufacturing plant in the country as the reason.
Unions play a crucial role in the Swedish labor model, with approximately 90% of the workforce being members of trade unions. These unions aim to standardize pay, insurance, pensions, and safeguard worker conditions. This movement against Tesla’s anti-union stance is not limited to Sweden alone, as similar union bids are taking place in the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory in Germany. All eyes are on Sweden to see how this union battle unfolds, including the United Auto Workers in the United States.
1. Why are the unions striking against Tesla in Sweden?
The unions are striking against Tesla in Sweden to protest the automaker’s refusal to sign a collective bargaining agreement with the country’s Tesla mechanics.
2. What actions are the unions taking as part of the strike?
The unions have taken various actions, including blocking Tesla vehicles at ports, refusing to clean Tesla retail or service centers, and threatening to stop mail deliveries to Tesla.
3. Why has Tesla chosen not to sign a collective agreement in Sweden?
Tesla has cited the absence of a manufacturing plant in Sweden as the reason for not signing a collective agreement.
4. What role do trade unions play in Sweden?
Trade unions are an integral part of the Swedish labor model, with around 90% of the workforce belonging to trade unions. They work towards standardizing pay, insurance, pensions, and protecting worker conditions.
5. Is this union battle limited to Sweden?
No, similar union bids are taking place in the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory in Germany. The outcome of the battle in Sweden is being closely watched by the United Auto Workers in the United States.