Tesla Giga Berlin supplier permitted to reduce workers over Sweden union strike: report

Credit: @tobilindh/X

When Swedish union IF Metall set its sights on Giga Berlin last month, the group noted that Hydro Extrusions, a producer of aluminum profiles for the Model Y, would be a central player in its strategy to disrupt the Tesla plant. Recent comments from Hydro Extrusions CEO Jonas Bjuhr have hinted that the Giga Berlin supplier’s employees may end up being hurt by the union’s strategy. 

While Hydro Extrusions has a collective agreement, the company is nonetheless fearful that it might lose Tesla as a customer. Hydro Extrusions is owned by the Norwegian giant Hydro, and it employs 850 employees in Vetlanda and Finspång. Tesla is one of the company’s largest customers, but with the union’s strike in place, deliveries to the EV maker have been halted for almost two weeks now. 

In a comment to Dagens Nyheter (DN), Bjuhr noted that the strike has affected the company from day one. He also expressed concerns about the company’s business with Tesla since the market for aluminum parts for vehicles is a rapidly growing segment. 

“It has affected us from day one in that we lose revenue and that in an already strained economic time. But the concern for the future is greater. Aluminum parts for electric cars is a strongly growing market, and if the strike goes on for a long time, it could reduce the confidence of Swedish suppliers. Then other suppliers will take over,” the CEO said. 

When asked by the publication about the number of employees that are covered by the ongoing Tesla strike, Bjuhr noted that just about 20 employees are covered. The CEO also noted that the company has already been given approval to reduce its headcount if needed. 

“About 20, above all in Vetlanda, and we have so far been able to move them to other departments. But if this goes on for a long time, there is an absolute risk of redundancies. We have already been given permission to reduce the number of hired employees,” Bjuhr said

IF Metall strike general Veli-Pekka Säikkälä, for his part, has argued that Hydro Extrusions is not being unfairly involved in the union’s current strikes against Tesla. 

“Hydro has chosen to do business with a company that does not have a collective agreement, thereby taking a conscious risk. We are not acting against Tesla in Sweden, but against the American group and its opportunities to do business. We do not strike blindly with our sympathy measures, but have surgically targeted Tesla’s factory in Berlin, which is dependent on deliveries from Hydro Extrusions. This is a way to increase the pressure on Tesla,” the IF Metall official said. 

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Tesla Giga Berlin supplier permitted to reduce workers over Sweden union strike: report
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