Tesla Strike in Sweden Continues With New Sympathy Strike

The ongoing labour dispute between Tesla and Swedish union IF Metall has taken another turn this week as Sweden’s largest union, Unionen, has joined in on the job action against the automaker. This is the latest development in the six-month-long strike, which started after Tesla refused to sign a collective bargaining agreement with IF Metall.

Tesla has faced ongoing strikes over the last six months from about a third of its Swedish mechanics. The strike began due to Tesla’s unwillingness to allow the union to negotiate on behalf of its workforce. Despite a recent statement from CEO Elon Musk that the labour issues were largely resolved, IF Metall has maintained that the strike continues with no resolution in sight.

Marie Nilsson, head of IF Metall, emphasized the lack of progress in negotiations, stating, “The strike is ongoing, and we have no signs of reaching an agreement in the near future. Tesla has shown little willingness in discussing an end to the conflict.” (via Reuters)

ALSO READ: IF Metall blinks again in Tesla strike in Sweden

IF Metall has so far garnered the support of over a dozen unions, and Unionen is the latest, and also the largest union to join in sympathy strikes. Unionen says it has stopped all Tesla-related work at DEKRA Industrial AB, which conducts equipment inspections.

Unionen noted that if Tesla attempts to get around the job action by hiring other providers, they are prepared to take further action. This could involve Unionen members at companies producing license plates for Tesla or those in administrative and financial roles within Tesla itself.

Tesla has previously sued unions that attempted to halt postal services to the automaker.

Tesla has not commented on the new sympathy strike, though it has previously stated that its Swedish employees enjoy terms as good as or better than those demanded by the union. The outcome of this dispute is critical for Tesla, as conceding to union demands in Sweden could set a precedent affecting its stance on unions globally.

Despite union actions causing some disruption, Tesla’s new vehicle registrations in Sweden have kept pace with the market. Tesla has reportedly brought in about 25 temporary staff from other European countries since February, contrasting with the previous year when no such workers were brought in. This move, while not confirmed to be directly linked to the strike, suggests efforts to mitigate its impact.

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