The head of the IF Metall union in Sweden, Marie Nilsson, sat in an exclusive interview and talked about the strike against Tesla.
If Metall believes Tesla Sweden’s refusal to sign a collective agreement undermines the country’s long-standing labor model.
“If you look at this from a long-term perspective, it could be a threat to the Swedish model. It’s really important for us,” Nilsson told the Financial Times.
The Swedish union gave Tesla a strike notice last month, stating that around 120 mechanics at the company’s seven workshops nationwide would join the strike.
“The main reason for IF Metall to take industrial action at Tesla is to ensure that our members have decent and safe working conditions. Over a long period of time, we have attempted to discuss the signing of a collective agreement with Tesla, yet without success. Now we see no solution other than to take industrial action,” IF Metall said in a public statement.
Tesla Sweden is under strict order from Elon Musk to refrain from signing a collective agreement. The auto company has been working throughout the strike. Tesla Sweden has been stuck between a rock and a hard place since IF Metall’s strike began. While a collective agreement is the norm in Sweden, entering into one doesn’t appear to be mandatory.
Tesla employees in Sweden have spoken against IF Metall and its need for a collective agreement. At IF Metall’s first attempt to organize a strike against Tesla in October, workers refused to join. In a recent statement, Tesla shared that over 90% of its workers have not joined IF Metall’s strike.
Last week, the conflict between IF Metall and Tesla Sweden hit a head when Postnord refused to deliver the auto company’s new license plates for expected electric vehicle deliveries.
Tesla has filed a lawsuit against Postnord and the Swedish Transport Agency over their failure to deliver new license plates. Tesla Sweden celebrated a small victory recently when the Solna district court allowed the company to retrieve its new license plates at Postnord’s facility. However, the tiny win came with a caveat.