17 October, 2023IF Metall has warned of strike action against car manufacturer Tesla’s repair shops in Sweden as Tesla is refusing to enter into negotiations on a collective agreement.
For years, IF Metall has tried to engage the car multinational on negotiations for a collective agreement, to which Tesla’s response simply is that collective agreements have no place in their business model.
“We have had no success in our efforts and are now left with no other option than strike action,”
says Marie Nilsson, IF Metall president.
The collective agreement is central to the Swedish labour relations model. According to IF Metall, mechanics with a collective agreement in place enjoy better conditions than those employed by Tesla, who among other things lack transition assistance and additional pension provisions.
Notoriously anti-union, all of Tesla’s 120,000 employees around the world currently lack a collective agreement and any attempt to organize are met with strong resistance from the employer. In the past, Tesla’s owner, Elon Musk, has publicly threatened workers with retaliation if they were to form a union.
Swedish union IF Metall is the first union in the world to launch potential action against Tesla for not respecting its workers. If no agreement is reached, the strike will start on 27 October at seven locations around the country.
Says IndustriALL general secretary Atle Høie:
"Elon Musk’s business model is to avoid respecting human rights. Now he is taken on by one of our strongest unions. We must defeat the Tesla business model, and Sweden is the best place to start."