IF Metall’s anti-Tesla strike is “killing Swedish business:” car workshop owner

(Credit: Björn Larsson Rosvall via Dagens Industri)

Björn Larsson, who runs a workshop outside Gothenburg in Sweden, recently spoke out against IF Metall’s ongoing strike against Tesla. As per the business owner, it is smaller players such as himself that are really being adversely affected by the ongoing efforts of the union. 

Larsson works at Mölnlycke Paintwork and Body Shop, which was founded by his father in the 1960s. The vehicle workshop is located in an industrial area in Mölnlycke. The business has about 25 employees, and in recent years, the turnover has been about SEK 34-36 million ($3.2-$3.4 million) annually. 

As noted in a Dagens Industri report, Larsson’s shop is among the first in Sweden to support the repair and service of Tesla’s electric vehicles. Today, Teslas account for about 70% of the business’ operations. Larsson noted that if his shop, which employs workers that are members of IF Metall, loses its Tesla business, it might not be long before layoffs are in order. 

“In here, we are not allowed to work with the Tesla cars from next Wednesday. We were among the first to start with Tesla in 2013. Now 70% of the business is Tesla. I honestly don’t know how we’re going to manage without having to do those jobs. It won’t be long before we have to lay people off,” Larsson said. 

Tesla and IF Metall do not seem to be closing in on an agreement. Tesla has noted that it would not be signing a collective agreement, while the union has proven that it will be escalating its anti-Tesla efforts until the electric vehicle maker is forced to sign an agreement. Larsson noted that in the midst of these conflicts, it is small business owners like himself that are most at risk. 

“The union has sick power. This strike is killing Swedish business… Our existence is threatened. It’s us little ones who are sacrificed and the giants don’t care… IF Metall doesn’t seem to understand how many jobs are being put at risk,” he said. 

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Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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