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19 Dec 2023

Europe: Tesla under pressure as unions go on strike to demand collective bargaining rights; incl. company non-response

In October 2023, 130 repair workshop mechanics affiliated with the Swedish union IF Metall went on strike to demand a collective bargaining agreement with Tesla. Their action attracted support from across industries, including from postal workers, car painters, electricians, rubbish collectors and dock workers who all launched secondary strikes.

In November, Tesla filed a lawsuit against the courier Postnord after postal workers stopped delivering Tesla licence plates; in December a Swedish court decided that PostNord does not, for the time being, need to deliver them. Tesla also filed a lawsuit against the Swedish Transport Agency, claiming it refused to change its courier from Postnord. A court ruled that the agency must find a way to get licence plates to Tesla.

In addition to the 15 Swedish unions Danish, Norwegian and Finish transport unions joined the action in "sympathy strikes" which aim to prevent Tesla cars from being transported to Sweden.

Nordic institutional investors said they were “deeply concerned” about Tesla’s attitude to worker rights in Sweden and sent a letter to the carmaker urging it to accept collective bargaining agreements for its staff.

German unions have also pressured the carmaker to implement a similar collective bargaining agreement for its workers in its plant near Berlin, where workers have reported health and safety issues.

According to Reuters, Tesla has a policy of not agreeing to collective bargaining and says its employees have as good or better terms than those the Swedish union is demanding.

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre invited Tesla to comment on the reports. It did not respond.

Company Responses


No Response