Swedish workers unite against Tesla. Starting tomorrow, cleaners will stop cleaning Tesla showrooms, electricians will no longer repair the company’s charging stations, and dock workers will refuse to unload Tesla cargo at all Swedish ports. Tesla mechanics go on strike Swedish unions describe the phenomenon as an existential battle between Elon Musk’s automaker and the practices they say make the country’s labor market fair and efficient.
The standoff in Sweden is the largest union action the company has faced anywhere in the world. Sweden has no laws regulating working conditions, such as the minimum wage. Instead, the rules are determined by a collective agreement, a contract that defines working conditions. Benefits to which employees are entitled, such as wages and working hours. For five years, IF Metall, the industrial workers union representing Tesla mechanics, has been trying to persuade the company to sign a collective agreement. When Tesla refused, the mechanics decided to go on strike at the end of October. They then asked other unions in Sweden to join them.
“Collective agreements form the backbone of Sweden’s labor market model,” said Mikael Pettersson, head of negotiations at the electricians’ union, which plans to join the blockade tomorrow. IF Metall spokesman Jesper Pettersson told Wired that as of Wednesday, no negotiations had been held with Tesla.
Tesla did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Some unions that have joined the blockade are expanding their action to be more effective. Union members working at four Swedish ports have refused to unload Tesla cargo since November 7. Tomorrow, the blockade will be extended to all Swedish ports. “We don’t want to unload any Tesla cars,” said Jimmy Åström, president of the dockworkers branch of the Swedish Transport Union, who works at the port of Gävle. “We will allow all other cars to be unloaded.” [to dock]But Tesla Motors, they’re staying on board. “
He hopes Tesla will understand how important this issue is to Swedish workers. “Not just dock workers, but all workers in Sweden.”
The Swedish Construction Maintenance Workers Union will also join the Tesla blockade at 12 noon local time on Friday, “simply because [IF] “The metalworkers union asked us to do this,” said inspector Torbjörn Jonsson, adding that the union of about 50 members is responsible for cleaning Tesla factories. Four showrooms and service centers will be affected, three around Stockholm and one in the city of Umeå. “Their workshop showrooms won’t be cleaned either.”