Workers at Tesla’s seven Swedish repair shops earn less and do not have the same pensions and insurance as other mechanics in the sector, Pettersson says. Tesla did not respond to WIRED’s request for comment.
Sweden was Tesla’s fifth market in Europe this year, with 16,309 new vehicles registered in the first nine months, according to Bloomberg. IF Metall has been trying since 2018 to get Tesla to sign a collective agreement with the workers in its repair shops, adds Pettersson. “One year ago, [Tesla] finally decided, no, they will not sign,” he said, adding that the strike will continue until an agreement is in place. “We are prepared to strike for a long time.”
The repair shop strike has been criticized as ineffective. Members of the official Swedish Tesla club, a group of Tesla owners that operates independently of the company, were worried about how they would repair their cars if they broke down. Club president Tibor Blomhäll therefore decided to visit his local repair shop on the first day of the strike to understand the impact.
Business at the repair shop he visited in northern Stockholm continued as normal, he said. “There were at least a dozen, but probably more than 20 people, working on the cars,” he says.
“Of course we have received information that some people are working despite the strike,” says Pettersson. But since the transport union threatened to block the port, Tesla has resumed negotiations with IF Metall. Negotiations took place yesterday and are expected to resume on Monday.
Sweden is not the only country to accuse Tesla of violating labor laws and conventions.
Tesla workers in the United States have achieved several failed attempts unionize. In April, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board ruled that the company violated local labor laws by telling employees not to discuss wages and other working conditions or file complaints with management. The IG Metall union in Germany also Express concerns about safety and work overload at the carmaker’s only European Gigafactory near Berlin.
“The electric vehicle is a symbol of the entire green transition, and it is a great irony that Tesla refuses to get involved in the social dimension of the great transition we are going through,” says Claes Mikael Ståhl, deputy secretary general of the ‘association. European Trade Union Confederation, a non-profit organization representing workers across the EU.
Workers outside Sweden will closely follow developments in this dispute, says Ståhl. “I think it will be an inspiration for unions in other countries to see this, because I think the Swedish union will succeed in the long term. »