IF Metall: Tesla Sweden staff went from “car mechanic to garbage man” amid union protest

(Credit: Björn Larsson Rosvall via Dagens Industri)

Tesla Sweden is dealing not just with trade union IF Metall’s strikes. It is also dealing with a number of sympathy efforts from the union’s allies. One of these sympathy strikes involved Transport workers refusing to pick up garbage from the electric vehicle maker’s locations starting December 29, 2023. Reports back then invoked images of Tesla Sweden being buried under mountains of garbage as a result of the sympathy strike. So far, however, this is reportedly not been the case. 

As noted in a report from Dagens Nyheter (DN), large amounts of garbage are currently not seen in some of Tesla Sweden’s locations. Outside Tesla’s workshop in Segeltorp in Stockholm, for example, only a few stacks of pallets and some garbage in containers could be seen outside the facility. As per the Transport union itself, this is due to Tesla Sweden taking care of parts of its waste disposal on its own. Elin Lörnbo, press officer at the Transport union, described the EV maker’s strategy thus far. 

“The blockade works at all Tesla workshops. No collection of waste has been made from our members. The signals we’re getting are that this is very troublesome for Tesla. Our members say that Tesla’s employees have had to take garbage home with them at the end of the working day,” the press officer noted. 

IF Metall ombudsman in Stockholm Carl Stern also noted that some Tesla employees have started handling bulkier waste. To accomplish this, Tesla Sweden has reportedly hired a van that can accommodate the waste materials, which are then driven directly to the recycling center. “They have rented a van and driven away waste, which they dump at a recycling center. It is everything except household rubbish and larger waste that they cannot handle at all,” Stern said. 

Tesla Sweden has not issued a comment about the matter. The IF Metall official, however, stated that Tesla’s employees are probably not too happy about the situation. “You can wonder how the staff themselves feel about going from civil servant or car mechanic to garbage man. They don’t look very happy when they’re doing it anyway,” Stern said. 

Lörnbo, for her part, also noted that the garbage disposal blockade for Tesla Sweden is just beginning. Thus, it may only be a matter of time before the union’s efforts against the EV maker become more notable. “The intervals for emptying different materials vary. Now, the blockade against waste management has been going on for almost four weeks, but some materials may only be picked up once a quarter. As a whole, however, it is growing all the time,” the Transport press officer said. 

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IF Metall: Tesla Sweden staff went from “car mechanic to garbage man” amid union protest
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