Tesla Sweden technician on IF Metall strike: ‘They didn’t ask us how we are’

(Credit: Björn Larsson Rosvall via Dagens Industri)

A Tesla technician working in Sweden shared his two cents about the ongoing IF Metall strike. The conflict between IF Metall and Tesla Sweden has put employees in a tough spot as some have joined the strike, but most have decided to continue work. 

A Tesla technician, who will remain anonymous, recently talked with Ekot, explaining why he does not support IF Metall’s demand for a collective agreement.

“If I hadn’t liked my job, if it had been as toxic as they [IF Metall] describe, then I would have changed jobs,” the Tesla technician said. 

The Tesla worker was a member of IF Metall for 10 years but left the union shortly before the strike against Tesla Sweden started in October. He also shared details about his relationship with the union.

“They didn’t ask us how we are. I think that if you start a conflict this big, you should have been asked that question. The union has visited us several times but never asked any questions about how we are doing. They have only asked us to sign and turn their heels when they get a no. I felt betrayed,” he said. 

The Tesla technician’s testimony is similar to that of other employees working for the automaker but may only show one part of the conflict between Tesla and IF Metall.

The conflict between Tesla and the Swedish union has three sides: the Texas-based automaker, IF Metall, and the employees. The Tesla technician who spoke Ekot voiced what appears to be the opinion of most employees working for the American Automaker: a collective agreement is not necessary.

Considering Tesla’s stance against a collective agreement, the employees and the company’s opinions align. On the other hand, IF Metall has pointed out that this conflict is a culture clash.

“We have tried to negotiate with them for a couple of years to reach our collective agreement, but they have declined that. I think this is kind of a clash between the Swedish or the European culture and the American way of doing business,” noted Marie Nilsson, Head of IF Metall. 

Some Teslarati readers in Sweden have jumped into the conversation and shared their two cents on the topic. The comment below seems to align with IF Metall’s sentiments and the Tesla employees who have joined the union’s strike. 

“I don’t think a regular employee can negotiate with a big company with a lot of lawyers and complex contracts that are difficult to read on purpose.

“I agree that the union is not perfect and there are areas of improvement, but the union is one of the mechanisms that help the employee, instead of removing it, we should change what is wrong. Otherwise, there won’t be a layer between the employee and the company,” noted the Teslarati reader.

The Teslarati team would appreciate hearing from you. If you have any tips, contact me at maria@teslarati.com or via X @Writer_01001101.

Tesla Sweden technician on IF Metall strike: ‘They didn’t ask us how we are’
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