Swedish workers’ strikes deeply frustrating Elon Musk

    Workers Striking Against Tesla in Sweden Draw Response from CEO Elon Musk

    Nearly a month after the start of their strike, workers protesting against Tesla in Sweden have finally caught the attention of CEO Elon Musk. In a tweet on X (formerly known as Twitter), Musk called the situation “insane.” The strike began when Swedish postal workers refused to deliver Tesla license plates in support of mechanics who had stopped servicing Tesla cars. The strike, originally started by about 130 mechanics, quickly spread to dockworkers, electricians, and other workers in Sweden.

    The strike is centered around demands for fair wages, pensions, and insurance for all Tesla employees in Sweden. The workers are represented by Sweden’s IF Metall union, which called for the strike after Tesla refused to sign a collective bargaining agreement. Sweden has a heavily unionized workforce, with about 90% of workers covered by collective agreements.

    Unionizing at Tesla has been challenging, with multiple failed attempts by US workers due to aggressive company tactics and weak labor protections. The National Labor Relations Board has called out Tesla and Musk for illegal anti-union activities, such as interrogating employees and discriminating against union supporters.

    The strikes in Sweden may inspire Tesla employees in Germany, where the company has a large plant. German unions have been pressuring Tesla to implement a collective bargaining agreement for its 11,000 workers near Berlin. The unions claim that Tesla pays its workers less than other carmakers in Germany and unfairly terminates employees who take sick leave. Over 1,000 workers at the German factory have already joined the union during a recent protest.

    If Tesla’s plans to double the production capacity of the German plant are approved, the factory will become Europe’s largest car factory, surpassing Volkswagen’s plant in Wolfsburg.

    In conclusion, workers striking against Tesla in Sweden have caught the attention of CEO Elon Musk, while similar labor disputes are unfolding in Germany. The strikes highlight the challenges of unionizing at Tesla and the importance of fair wages and labor protections for workers.

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