Tesla Sweden speaks up five months into IF Metall’s strike

(Credit: NicklasNilsso14)

Tesla Sweden has mostly stayed quiet during trade union IF Metall’s strike. That is, at least, until recently, when Tesla Sweden Market Lead Jens Stark spoke with Dagens Industri about the electric vehicle maker’s current operations and the effects of IF Metall’s ongoing strike. 

While some media reports have framed a narrative that is mostly centered on IF Metall’s talking points in the conflict, Stark noted that Tesla is working very closely with its employees. And so far, the Tesla Market Lead noted that the electric vehicle maker’s employees are operating as one strong team. 

“We work very closely with our employees. We have just had a digital information meeting where we have asked how everyone is doing and they can also write in questions. No one asks about collective agreements. However, they want to know how they can help with different solutions in this situation,” Stark noted.

Tesla Sweden has been struck not just by IF Metall. It has also been struck by sympathy strikes from the trade union’s allies. These sympathy strikes have made things more challenging for Tesla, but the electric vehicle maker has mostly found workarounds so that it could continue its operations. These workarounds have become a big reason why Tesla and IF Metall’s conflict still has no end in sight.

As noted by Dagens Industri, IF Metall’s strike against Tesla started on October 27, 2023. Thus, the protests against the electric vehicle maker have been going on for nearly five months now. That’s the longest labor market conflict in Sweden since the 1940s. Stark, however, noted in his interview that the conditions of Tesla Sweden’s employees are already comparable to those whose companies have a collective agreement. 

“We know that there is a strong correlation between satisfied employees and company success, which is why we put so much effort into benefits and compensation. But also how you can grow in the company and that everyone gets shares. We place a lot of importance on our employees, contrary to the stigma that the union wants to put on us. Otherwise, over 90 percent would not have been at work,” he said. 

Tesla has so far been successful in its efforts to continue its operations despite the efforts from IF Metall and its allies. The Tesla Model Y became Sweden’s best-selling car in 2023, and the company saw a sales increase of 120%. Tesla Sweden’s stellar performance in 2023 meant that the EV maker captured a 7% market share in Sweden. And while this market share has dropped to 5% during the first two months of the year, Tesla Sweden is confident that 2024 will be yet another good year. 

“Yes, but at the same time we have grown by over 100% compared to the previous year. For us, March is an important month for deliveries. We feel confident that we will have Sweden’s best-selling car when we sum up the year,” Stark said. 

The Tesla Sweden Market Lead’s full interview can be viewed here

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Tesla Sweden speaks up five months into IF Metall’s strike
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