In Sweden, workers from various sectors have come together to boycott Tesla in protest of the company’s refusal to negotiate collective agreements with unions. This has led to a halt in the unloading of Tesla’s electric cars in Swedish ports, as well as the repair of charging stations and cleaning of showrooms. According to reports, Tesla no longer even receives its mail in Sweden.
This conflict is not just about wages, but also about basic principles. The union in Sweden considers collective agreements to be a cornerstone and believes that all employees should be covered by them. When mechanics went on strike to force the conclusion of a collective agreement, Tesla is said to have attempted to fly in strikebreakers from other countries. The union responded by spreading the conflict to other industries.
The conflict between Tesla and unions is reminiscent of the one with the US toy company Toys “R” Us, which expanded into Sweden in 1995 and refused to conclude a collective agreement. After three months of industrial action involving commercial employees and other unions, the company gave in and signed the collective agreement.
In Germany, Tesla is also struggling with unions at its Grünheide plant in Brandenburg. The union IG Metall has identified “an extreme workload” and “serious deficiencies” in safety at the plant. Additionally, Tesla is reportedly trying to hinder union organization at the plant.