Tesla’s fight against the ongoing labour strike in Sweden has taken another turn. Norway’s $1.5 trillion sovereign wealth fund, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), has called on the automaker to recognize fundamental labour rights, including the right to collective bargaining.
The backdrop of this plea is Tesla’s ongoing conflict with Swedish union IF Metall, who says its mechanics are demanding collective bargaining rights covering wages and working conditions. While Tesla has so far resisted such demands, the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund emphasizes the importance of respecting fundamental human rights, specifically labour rights.
Despite facing criticism and divestments from other funds, NBIM says it remains committed to retaining its 0.88% stake in Tesla, currently valued at $6.8 billion. However the fund has signaled its intention to influence the company’s policies over time.
NBIM revealed that in 2022, it supported a shareholder proposal at Tesla, which sought the implementation of a policy to respect the right to organize. Although the proposal gained support from 32% of voters, Tesla’s board recommended a ‘no’ vote, highlighting the continued divergence between the company’s stance and investor expectations.
Despite claims that the terms offered to Swedish employees are equal to or better than union demands, Tesla’s stance has sparked backlash not only from unions but also from pension funds.
While NBIM says it has no plans to sell its stake in Tesla, Denmark’s PensionDanmark has divested its $69 million TSLA holdings.