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Tesla strike action spreads across borders

8 December, 2023Six weeks into IF Metall’s strike for a collective agreement at auto manufacturer Tesla, the solidarity strike action is spreading not only in Sweden, but also to neighbouring Denmark and Norway.

With opposition to Tesla’s anti-union attitude growing, Swedish unions across different industries have taken solidarity action to protect the right to collective bargaining, resulting in, among other things, a failure in delivering license plates for new cars.

And on 5 December, Denmark’s largest union 3F announced it will join the solidarity strike, which will prevent dock workers and drivers from receiving and transporting Tesla cars. The following day, Norwegian union Fellesforbundet announced that they will engage in solidarity actions if Tesla hasn’t signed a collective agreement with IF Metall by 20 December.

Says IndustriALL general secretary Atle Høie:

“As long as Tesla does not understand that they have to follow the rules of a country, the conflict will spread. The international union movement will not allow such blatant disrespect for basic national regulations and traditions.”

The Swedish model, where workplace conditions have been set through negotiations between workers’ and employers’ representatives for almost a century, has resulted in a stable labour market where 90 per cent of all workers are covered by collective agreements.

However, despite numerous attempts over the last few years, Tesla is refusing to engage in negotiations with IF Metall.
Isabelle Barthès, acting joint general secretary of industriAll Europe says:

"We continue to stand with our Swedish colleagues, and across borders, unions in Europe will fight attempts to weaken unions and collective bargaining. Tesla has much to gain by learning from the European social model and accepting unions as partners in the automotive transformation it has aimed to lead".

Photo credit: IF Metall