STOCKHOLM — Dockworkers in Sweden pledged on Friday to refuse to dump Tesla automobiles at any of the nation’s ports as they expanded their industrial motion in sympathy with Tesla employees’ calls for for collective bargaining agreements.
Tesla, co-founded by billionaire Elon Musk, doesn’t manufacture in Sweden, however its electric cars are serviced by greater than 120 mechanics affiliated with Swedish union IF Metall, which started a strike on Oct. 27.
Dockworkers joined the strike by mechanics on Nov. 7, blocking Sweden’s 4 largest ports to Tesla automobiles. That was expanded to all ports on Friday at 12 a.m. (1100 GMT)
A spokesperson from the union Transport, which counts the dockworkers as its members, stated that Swedish ports usually noticed one to 3 shipments of Tesla automobiles every week, however no shipments had arrived for the reason that begin of the strike.
“So the blockade is working,” the spokesperson stated.
U.S.-based Tesla, which has revolutionised the electrical automobile market, has managed to keep away from collective bargaining agreements, which cowl wages and circumstances, with its roughly 127,000 employees and Musk has been vocal about his opposition to unions.
Marie Nilsson, head of IF Metall, advised Reuters on Friday that the union had obtained some indications early on within the dispute that Tesla was participating in strike-breaking ways by flying in employees from different international locations.
“We’ve got by no means skilled something like this earlier than… we’ve not handled this in Sweden since 1937 or so,” Nilsson says.
“And this has pressured us to escalate the battle,” she added.
If Sweden can break Tesla’s resistance, that would present a precedent for different international locations.
To this point, unions in the USA and Germany have did not drive the carmaker to just accept collective bargaining agreements.
“If they’ve come to Sweden, they need to observe the principles. We’ve got sure norms right here and he (Musk) should settle for them,” Torbjorn Johansson, negotiation secretary at Sweden’s LO labour confederation, stated.
“Swedish employees can’t afford to lose this battle.”
Swedish unions have achieved success earlier than getting international companies to just accept native industrial practices.
Within the Nineties, American toy firm Toys “R” Us signed a collective bargaining settlement with its 130 Swedish workers after a three-month strike.
Nilsson stated IF Metall had no plans to cease the strike motion anytime quickly.
“So long as it’s wanted,” she stated.
Along with dockworkers, unionised cleaners are refusing to scrub Tesla buildings and postal employees have stopped delivering mail.
On Friday, electricians stopped service and repair work for Tesla, together with at its charging stations throughout Sweden.
Swedish employees are additionally supported by Norway’s Fellesforbundet, the largest union within the nation’s LO confederation.
Motion towards Tesla in Sweden is because of escalate additional – if no settlement is reached – on Nov. 24 when about 50 unionised employees at Hydro Extrusions, a subsidiary of Norwegian aluminium and vitality firm Hydro, will cease work on Tesla automobile merchandise.
Tesla has not responded to repeated requests for remark.