Tesla in Sweden: No production but many sales.
Tesla does not produce any vehicles in Sweden, but it operates several facilities where cars are repaired. So far this year, the Tesla Model Y is the best-selling new car in Sweden, with more than 14,000 registrations as of October, according to Mobility Sweden, an industry group.
At the beginning of the mechanics’ strike, a Tesla representative told Swedish media that the company respected the country’s labor laws and had decided not to sign a collective agreement. The company said it would do everything it could to keep its business running.
Quotable: “It is important and obvious that we help.”
The Swedish Transport Workers Union, whose members work on Sweden’s docks, said in a statement that “it is important and obvious that we help defend the collective agreement and the Swedish labor market model.”
How it started: Tesla mechanics went on strike on October 27.
In late October, IF Metall, which represents 300,000 workers in Sweden, including some Tesla mechanics, said talks with company representatives had ended without resolution. The union began the strike at all 12 Tesla service centers on October 27.
Port workers initially refused to unload Teslas at four major Swedish ports starting November 7, which on Friday expanded to 55 ports.
Unions representing cleaners have also refused to provide service to Tesla facilities, and the postal workers union prevented any deliveries from reaching the company’s facilities.
Both IF Metall and the Transport Workers Union have acknowledged that Tesla has found ways to get around the strikes. Tesla appeared to be bringing in other mechanics to staff its facilities and bringing new vehicles to Sweden by truck, they said.
Strike efforts have also been hampered by some union members who work for Tesla refusing to join, Swedish media reported.
What other unions say: The Germans have expressed their support.
In Germany, where Tesla produces the Model Y at a gigafactory outside Berlin, union leaders have been trying to organize the roughly 11,500 employees who work there. Tesla management has not engaged with the German autoworkers union, IG Metall. Last month, several hundred workers wore union stickers calling for “safe and fair work.”
Dirk Schulze, regional director of IG Metall in Brandenburg, where Tesla has its factory, has expressed solidarity with striking workers in Sweden. The strike in Sweden has given workers in Germany “the courage and confidence to organize into a union and take destiny into their own hands,” Schulze said in a statement.
The union has not announced any additional measures.
What happens next: More strikes are planned in Sweden.
This week, IF Metall said that 50 of its members at Hydro Extrusions, a company that produces an aluminum component for Tesla, would leave their jobs next Friday.