Swedish union widens strike for Tesla workers

Swedish union widens strike for Tesla workers

Tesla mechanics in Sweden are striking to get the US automaker to negotiate a collective wage agreement
Tesla mechanics in Sweden are striking to get the US automaker to negotiate a collective wage agreement. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT / TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP/File
Source: AFP

Sweden's metalworkers union said Friday that it was expanding its strike against Tesla, a week after mechanics walked off the job over the electric carmaker's refusal to sign a collective wage agreement.

The first stage of the strike affected some 130 mechanics at 10 Tesla workshops in seven cities of across Sweden, according to trade union IF Metall.

On Friday, the strike was expanded to include some 470 more workers at another 17 facilities that service many brands of vehicles where a "blockade" on repairing Tesla cars had been put in place.

"It's important to remember that these people are going to work as usual and carry out their tasks on other car models, but they don't service Tesla specifically during the conflict," IF Metall union spokesman Jesper Pettersson told AFP.

Pettersson said the union had met with Tesla during the week and another meeting was planned for Monday, but did not wish to comment on how the negotiations were going.

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Negotiated sector-by-sector, collective agreements are the basis of the Swedish labour market model, covering almost 90 percent of all Swedish employees and guaranteeing standard wages and working conditions.

Last week IF Metall -- which has some 300,000 members -- told AFP that "many" of Tesla's workers in Sweden are members of IF Metall, but would not disclose an exact number.

Despite being union members, they cannot benefit from industry-wide collective bargaining agreements.

Tesla founder and chief Elon Musk has consistently rejected calls to allow the company's 127,000 employees worldwide to unionise.

The Swedish Transport Workers' union has also announced "sympathy measures" in support of IF Metall's strike, threatening to block the "loading and unloading of Tesla cars" at four Swedish ports, starting on November 7 unless an agreement is reached.

Source: AFP

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