tesla workers strike in sweden; what can elon musk do
On 27 October, Tesla workers walked off the job to protest against the company’s refusal to sign a collective wage agreement. The workers’ strike affected around Tesla’s 130 mechanics at seven workshops across Sweden.
Members of Sweden’s IF Metall metalworkers’ union held a strike after a failure in negotiations with Tesla over a collective wage agreement. IF Metall union spokesman Jesper Pettersson confirmed about the workers’ strike.
Tesla workers strike in Sweden
Tesla workers in Sweden said that they had “lower wages.” The workers also complained that they do not have the same insurance like other industry workers. They also complained of having lower pensions than other industry workers.
Tesla workers in Sweden want the company to sign an agreement offering the same working conditions to Tesla’s mechanics as those offered to other mechanics at other companies in Sweden.
However, Tesla refused to sign the wage agreement. The company said it never signed collective bargaining agreements anywhere in the world.
Tesla’s workers in Sweden are members of IF Metall, a trade union in Sweden. Despite being trade union members, the Tesla workers cannot benefit from industry-wide collective bargaining agreements.
In Sweden, a collective agreement is a written agreement on terms of employment between an employer-representative organization or an employer and a union organization. It is the basis of the Swedish labor market model, covering almost 90 per cent of all Swedish employees and guaranteeing working conditions.
The workers, who were holding a strike, were paid compensation by the trade union equivalent to their wages. IF Metall said that they would extend the strike until the workers’ demands are fulfilled and a collective bargaining agreement is put in place.
IF Metall’s spokesperson said, “As recently as Tuesday, when we had our last meeting with Tesla, they made it clear that they have no intentions of signing a collective bargaining agreement with us.”
What can Elon Musk do?
IF Metall is the first trade union in the world to launch an action against Elon Musk’s Tesla for not respecting its workers. If no agreement is reached, another strike will take place in November.
Elon Musk must respect the rights of the workers and fulfill their demands. Elon Musk must conduct negotiations with Tesla workers in Sweden on a collective agreement.
Last month, Tesla faced a federal lawsuit for racial harassment. The company was sued by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ( EEOC) over claims of extreme harassment of Black workers at its Fremont, California assembly plant.