In recent years, several workers from different sectors in Sweden have come together to boycott Tesla, causing the US manufacturer’s electric cars to no longer be unloaded in Swedish ports. Additionally, charging stations are not repaired and showrooms are not cleaned. According to reports, Tesla no longer even receives its mail in Sweden. This conflict is not just about wages but also a fight over basic principles: Tesla refuses collective agreements that cover 90% of employees and are considered a cornerstone in Sweden.
When mechanics went on strike to force the conclusion of a collective agreement, the company was reportedly trying to fly in strikebreakers from other countries. The union responded by spreading the conflict to other industries, leading to a significant impact on Tesla’s operations in Sweden. This conflict is reminiscent of the one with US toy company Toys “R” Us, which expanded to Sweden in 1995 and also refused to conclude a collective agreement. After three months of industrial action involving commercial employees and other unions, the company gave in and signed the collective agreement.
In addition to its struggles with unions in Sweden and Germany, Tesla is also facing challenges with worker organization at its Grünheide plant in Brandenburg. IG Metall identifies “an extreme workload” and “serious deficiencies” in safety at the plant. Furthermore, Tesla is reportedly trying to hinder union organization at this location as well.
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