Tesla mechanics in Sweden staged a strike on Friday, demanding the automaker sign a collective wage agreement. The strike, organized by the IF Metall union, impacted around 130 Tesla mechanics across seven workshops in Sweden.
The core issue at the heart of the strike is an apparent discrepancy in wages, insurance coverage, and pension benefits for Tesla employees compared to their counterparts in the industry.
Jesper Pettersson, a spokesperson for the IF Metall union, told the Associated Free Press (AFP) that Tesla workers face disparities in compensation, insurance, and pension plans. Collective agreements that are negotiated sector by sector form the backbone of the Swedish labor market model, ensuring that nearly 90 percent of the country’s workforce enjoys standardized wages and working conditions. Such agreements also foster a level playing field for companies operating within Sweden.
According to Pettersson, many of Tesla’s workers in Sweden are affiliated with the IF Metall union, although he declined to provide the exact number. Despite their union membership, those workers have been unable to benefit from industry-wide collective bargaining agreements. Pettersson explained that Tesla informed the union on Tuesday that they had no intention of signing a collective bargaining agreement, asserting that this was not a practice the company followed anywhere in the world.
The striking Tesla workers in Sweden are currently receiving compensation from the union, equivalent to their regular wages. Pettersson warned that if Tesla does not alter its stance, the IF Metall union plans to expand the strike on November 3, encompassing all workshop repairs on Tesla vehicles in Sweden, not just those carried out by Tesla’s own employees.