Sweden’s dock workers threaten to block Tesla shipments in support of strike

Swedish dock workers are warning they will block the entry of new Teslas into the country, following a strike action last week by the IF Metall Union. The strike was called in response to Tesla’s refusal to sign a collective bargaining agreement, but the majority of Tesla employees chose not to participate in the walkout.

The Swedish Transport Workers’ Union, representing 57,000 members in the transport industry, has issued a blockade threat in support of the strike by the IF Metall union. The plan is set to start on November 7, potentially resulting in a complete stop to Tesla imports across four ports: Malmö, Gothenburg, Trelleborg, and Södertälje. Union Chairman Tommy Wreeth said, “If it goes ahead, no Teslas will be able to enter Sweden.” (via Wired)

Jesper Pettersson, spokesperson for IF Metall, emphasizes the need for Tesla’s Swedish Service Center workers to enjoy the same benefits as their industry peers, noting discrepancies in wages, pensions, and insurance. However when employees at the Tesla Service Center Infra City, just north of Stockholm, were interviewed last week they did not walk off the job, saying their pay and conditions are better at Tesla than at other companies.

Collective agreements in Sweden govern the terms of employment, covering aspects like pay, pensions, working conditions, and benefits. While it’s not mandatory for a company to sign such an agreement, it’s a common practice in Sweden, with around 90% of employees benefiting from these arrangements.

Sweden currently ranks as Tesla’s fifth-largest market in Europe this year with 16,309 new Teslas registered in the first nine months, according to Bloomberg. IF Metall has been pushing for a collective agreement with Tesla since 2018. The union says the strike will continue until an agreement is reached, however if local reports are true that only a minority of employees are actually striking, it may continue for a while.

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