Tesla investor KLP considers shareholder proposal on collective bargaining at annual shareholder meeting

Credit: @NicklasNilsso14/X

Tesla investor KLP, Norway’s largest pension company, is considering the idea of filing a shareholder proposal to address Elon Musk’s reluctance to engage in collective bargaining at the electric vehicle maker’s 2024 annual shareholder meeting. Tesla has been dealing with protests and blockades from Swedish trade union IF Metall and its allies since October last year. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently noted in an X Spaces session that he believes that the worst is over in Sweden. To date, Tesla Sweden has mostly been able to work around the anti-Tesla efforts of IF Metall and its allies, but the unions’ recent efforts to block the activation of Supercharger stations have started to prove problematic. Nevertheless, Musk noted that he remains optimistic about Sweden. 

“I think the storm has passed on that front. I think things are in reasonably good shape in Sweden. I feel good about the future. The long term future of Tesla is strong,” Musk said

As per Kiran Aziz, KLP’s head of responsible investments, Musk is underestimating the gravity of the situation in Sweden. For context, KLP did join a number of other Nordic investors in a December letter asking Tesla to resolve the conflict with IF Metall. In their letter, the investors noted that they would consider selling their TSLA shares if the company does not sign a collective agreement. 

“That Elon Musk is saying that the ‘storm has passed’ is just his way to underestimate the conflict and the issue. The conflict is still going, and Musk does not really want to understand that collective bargaining is the backbone of the Nordic labor model,” Aziz noted.

Aziz noted that Tesla did not answer the December letter, so the KLP is currently “trying to figure out how to escalate,” as noted in a Reuters report. “The next step with Tesla could be filing a shareholder proposal at its annual general meeting. We will continue to pursue this issue regardless of what Musk thinks so one advice would be that Tesla starts to respond on queries from investors,” she said. 

Tesla has maintained that its employees in Sweden do not need a collective agreement because they already receive benefits that are equal to or better than what they would have with a union in place. The EV maker has also argued that over 90% of its workers in Sweden have opted out of IF Metall’s strike. Tesla as a company also seems to be doing well in Sweden, with the Model Y becoming the country’s most registered vehicle in March 2024. 

KLP currently holds 900,000 TSLA shares. Tesla, for its part, has not issued a response about the KLP’s intentions as of writing. 

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Tesla investor KLP considers shareholder proposal on collective bargaining at annual shareholder meeting
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