By Oleysa Dmitracova | CNN
It has taken practically a month, however staff putting in opposition to Tesla in Sweden have lastly drawn a response from the corporate’s famously anti-union boss. “That is insane,” CEO Elon Musk said Thursday on X, the platform previously often called Twitter that he owns.
Musk was responding to information that Swedish postal staff are refusing to ship Tesla license plates, becoming a member of a wave of motion in sympathy with mechanics who stopped servicing Tesla vehicles late final month.
About 130 mechanics started their ongoing strike in October after their employer, a Tesla subsidiary in Sweden, introduced that it will not acknowledge their labor union, in accordance with Expressen, a CNN affiliate.
The economic motion quickly unfold to dockworkers who began blocking deliveries of Tesla vehicles on the nation’s ports, to electricians who stopped upkeep work for the carmaker, and different staff in Sweden, Expressen reported.
“That is about good wages, good pensions and good insurance coverage for all our members who work at Tesla,” Sweden’s IF Metall union, which known as the unique strike, mentioned on its web site.
“Now we have been negotiating with Tesla for a very long time. They’ve refused to signal a collective (bargaining) settlement and violate fundamental rules within the Swedish labor market.”
The nation’s workforce is closely unionized, with round 9 out of 10 staff lined by collective agreements.
However unionizing at Tesla has confirmed tough. Not less than three makes an attempt by its US staff to prepare have failed, primarily as a consequence of aggressive ways by the corporate and weak protections for labor in the USA.
The Nationwide Labor Relations Board, a US federal company, has repeatedly known as out Tesla and Musk for unlawful or improper anti-union actions, similar to interrogating staff, and disciplining or in any other case discriminating in opposition to staff as a result of they assist unions.
This yr the carmaker fired greater than 30 supporters of a nascent union at its facility in Buffalo, New York, simply days after the organizing effort was introduced.
Musk, the world’s richest man, has additionally been vocal about his opposition to unions and triggered the ire of the labor relations company when it directed him to delete a 2018 tweet that hinted Tesla staff would lose their inventory choices in the event that they fashioned a union.
Nonetheless, the strikes by Swedish staff could embolden Tesla’s staff in Germany, the place it has a big plant manufacturing electrical autos and battery cells.
German unions have pressured the corporate to implement a collective bargaining settlement for its 11,000 staff on the manufacturing unit close to Berlin, in accordance with Reuters.
IG Metall, a robust German Union, says Tesla pays its staff lower than different carmakers in Germany and eliminates staff who’re sick too usually. Greater than 1,000 staff on the manufacturing unit joined the union throughout a day of protest final month.
Earlier this yr, Tesla lodged an software to double the manufacturing capability of the plant — positioned about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the German capital — to 1 million EVs.
If the enlargement occurs, the manufacturing unit will overtake Volkswagen’s sprawling plant within the German metropolis of Wolfsburg, stealing its crown as Europe’s largest automobile manufacturing unit.