IF Metall ups the ante against Tesla in Sweden

Tesla continues to find itself at the center of a labour dispute in Sweden, and unsurprisingly it is starting to draw a response from CEO Elon Musk. On Wednesday Musk expressed his frustration, calling the growing wave of strikes in the country “insane” as the latest group to join the labour action means no new Tesla cars can be registered in the country.

The dispute started on October 27 when mechanics associated with the Swedish union IF Metall initiated a walkout, demanding a collective bargaining agreement that addresses wages and benefits for the approximately 120 employees working at Tesla’s service facilities in Sweden. The IF Metall union aims to secure what is calls fair and safe working conditions for its members, aligning them with standards observed by similar companies in Sweden.

Solidarity quickly spread, with eight additional unions joining the strike. The latest to join is the Swedish postal service, which now means that new Tesla cars won’t receive license plates, posing a significant obstacle to new car registrations in the country.

Elon Musk took to his social media platform X, expressing his dismay at the situation, saying, “This is insane.”

Other groups that have joined the labour action include dockworkers, who refused to unload Tesla cars at Swedish ports, and electricians, who halted repair work at Tesla’s charging stations. Additionally, unions representing cleaners have ceased operations at Tesla facilities.

The impact is not confined to Sweden alone, as Tesla faces challenges in Germany, where its Berlin gigafactory operates. Union leaders in Germany have been advocating for fair treatment for the approximately 11,500 employees working at the gigafactory. Tesla has given a 4% pay raise for workers at Giga Berlin.

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