Stockholm — Tesla mechanics in Sweden walked off the job on Friday to protest against the electric carmaker’s refusal to sign a collective wage agreement, the metalworkers union said.
The strike affects around Tesla’s 130 mechanics at seven workshops across Sweden, IF Metall union spokesman Jesper Pettersson told AFP.
Pettersson said Tesla employees had “lower wages, don’t have the same insurances, and have lower pensions” than other industry workers.
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.
IF Metall – which has some 300 000 members – said the agreements also allow for companies “to operate on a level playing field”.
Nu är strejken på Tesla igång. @ifmetall tar fajten för våra medlemmars löner och arbetsvillkor – och för hela den svenska arbetsmarknadsmodellen. I vårt land är kollektivavtal en självklarhet! Visa ditt stöd du med. pic.twitter.com/qHN0W9Lnjq
— Marie Nilsson (@marienilsson64) October 27, 2023
POST TRANSLATION: Now the strike at Tesla is underway. @ifmetall takes the fight for our members’ wages and working conditions – and for the entire Swedish labor market model. In our country, collective agreements are a matter of course! Show your support you with.
“Many” of Tesla’s workers in Sweden are members of IF Metall, Pettersson said, but would not disclose an exact number.
Despite being union members, they cannot benefit from industry-wide collective bargaining agreements.
Pettersson said Tesla informed them on Tuesday it would not sign a collective bargaining agreement, adding that the carmaker told the union they “don’t do that anywhere in the world.”
Tesla has not responded to AFP’s request for comment.
Tesla founder and chief Elon Musk has consistently rejected calls to allow the company’s 127 000 employees worldwide to unionise.
Tesla strikers in Sweden were being paid compensation by the union equivalent to their wages, Pettersson said.
He said that unless Tesla changed its position, IF Metall would widen its strike on November 3 to cover all workshop repairs on Tesla cars across Sweden, not just those done by Tesla employees.
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