Tesla Sweden and IF Metall conflict is hitting its third month, and a lot has happened since it began.
IF Metall has gained a lot of support within Sweden from other trade unions, including Seko, which brought Postnord into the strike. Through Postnord, IF Metall struck Tesla with a big blow as the courier refused to deliver new license plates to the automaker. Postnord’s blockade on Tesla has affected the new vehicle deliveries.
In response, Tesla filed lawsuits against Postnord and the Swedish Transport Agency, which refuses to switch courier services. The automaker claims at least 1,000 new license plates are still not within its possession. Tesla and its customers recently found a loophole to Postnord’s blockade, enabling deliveries to continue.
However, IF Metall’s strike against Tesla continues. It has also gained support from other Nordic countries, leading Tesla to seek a government affairs specialist.
Tesla seeks Government Affairs Specialist for Nordic countries
Tesla Sweden posted a job position for a government affairs specialist amid the ongoing IF Metall Strike.
Tesla Sweden’s Job post reads:
“Tesla is seeking an all-round Stockholm- or Oslo-based Nordics public policy and business development manager to join its growing EMEA team. The role is to help ensure that the political, regulatory, and fiscal frameworks in the ‘Nordics’ (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland) support Tesla’s mission, especially by promoting a rapid transition to zero-emission surface transport and a safe and secure transition to assisted automated driving.”
Sympathy Strikes Against Tesla
IF Metall’s strike against Tesla, which started in October, has reached other Nordic countries like Denmark and Norway. The Swedish union has gained support through sympathy strikes by other trade unions and countries as opposed to Tesla employees working in Sweden.
Norway’s governing Labor Party summoned Tesla to parliament last week. The Texas-based automaker was called to parliament to answer questions about IF Metall’s ongoing strike. Tesla’s Norwegian boss, Axel Tangen, stated that the company follows Norwegian laws, including those related to the labor market.
Denmark and Norway have agreed to block Tesla shipments passing through their countries and heading to Sweden. A few Nordic pension funds have also put Tesla on its watchlist, closely observing how the situation with IF Metall will play out. One Danish pension fund, Pension Danmark, has put TSLA on its exclusion list. Other Nordic pension funds are approaching the conflict between Tesla Sweden and IF Metall with more caution.
IF Metall’s strike against Tesla aims to push the automaker to sign a collective agreement, a standard contract between employers and unions in Sweden. Even if it is common in Sweden, collective agreements do not appear compulsory for a company. Tesla has refused to sign a collective agreement with IF Metall, clarifying that its payment scheme and treatment of workers are on par with, if not better than, those described in any contract with a union.
If Tesla were to sign a collective agreement with IF Metall, it would only cover employees “within its contractual area” or those who are members of the Swedish union. Based on previous reports, IF Metall members usually exclude white-collar workers. Most IF Metall members at Tesla appear to be mechanics working at the automaker’s service centers.
Tesla Club Sweden recently conducted a count on how many mechanics actually supported IF Metall’s strike and came out with a total number of 13 workers. The Swedish union claims Tesla Club Sweden’s numbers are drastically underestimated.