We are confident that Tesla will meet its match when it faces the trade unions in Sweden.

The Swedish union IF Metall is gearing up for a confrontation with electric car manufacturer Tesla. The union’s attempt to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement for its members who service and repair Tesla vehicles at TM Sweden AB has hit a dead end.

IF Metal has been trying to negotiate with Tesla for more than a year. Despite the union’s efforts, Tesla has staunchly refused to sign a collective bargaining agreement, arguing that it does not fit with the company’s business model. This refusal has left around 120 – 130 Tesla employees without the benefits and protection of a collective agreement.

Despite the well-known difficulties of organising workers in Tesla’s companies due to an anti-union business culture, the required number of members to conclude collective agreements has been reached in the Swedish Tesla repair shops. However, as negotiations have stalled, industrial action, including strikes, is now a real possibility.

Tesla’s resistance to unions and to signing collective agreements is not limited to Sweden. Similar situations have been reported in Norway and in Germany, where Tesla has a large car manufacturing plant.

Isabelle Barthès, Acting Joint General Secretary of industriAll Europe states:

“Companies like Tesla or Amazon need to learn that Europe’s industrial relations culture is an asset, not a risk to be eliminated. Collective bargaining delivers fair and collective solutions for all. It reduces income inequalities, supports purchasing power, creates quality jobs and leads to an inclusive society.

“We are confident that Tesla will meet its match when it faces the trade unions in Sweden. We stand with our Swedish colleagues and together, trade unions in Europe will resist attempts to weaken unions and collective bargaining.”