Tesla union strike fails in Sweden as workers refused to walk out: report

Key Points

  • 💼 Tesla workers in Sweden did not go on strike, defying expectations.
  • 💰 Employees cited good working conditions and wages as reasons for not striking.
  • 📊 The strike was planned due to a disagreement over wages, pensions, and insurance.
  • 🚗 Tesla Club Sweden observed normal operations at the Infra City site.
  • 📈 Some workers mentioned better salaries and career prospects at Tesla.
  • 📜 IF Metall and Tesla workers had previous discussions that were unimpressive to the employees.
  • 🤐 Some workers opted to stay anonymous, fearing reprisal from the union.
  • 🔧 Only a few union members decided to go on strike across the country.

Just recently, Swedish trade union IF Metall stated that Tesla would be hit by a strike from its members. At the time, the union stated that Tesla’s decision not to sign a collective bargaining agreement would result in about 120 Tesla mechanics walking off the job on Friday. This would effectively disrupt or even cripple Tesla’s operations in Sweden.

“This conflict is about our members’ wages, pensions, and insurances. And in the end, it is about the playing rules on the Swedish labor market,” IF Metall’s head of collective agreements, Veli-Pekka Saikkala, said.

IF Metall’s announcement resulted in worries from Tesla owners, some of whom expressed reservations about whether their vehicles could still be serviced or fixed on time if the strike were to happen. Fortunately, it would appear that the trade union’s planned strike would not exactly go as planned. In fact, it appeared to be a failure. 

As per domestic reports, Friday came and went, and industry watchers observed that practically no one from Tesla’s workforce in Sweden joined the planned walkout. This was highlighted by Tesla Club Sweden, which visited the electric vehicle maker’s Infra City site. At the time of the club’s visit, the site was in full operation.

As noted in a Borskollen.se report, cars were being repaired, customers were dropping off and picking up their vehicles as usual, and no bookings had to be rescheduled. When asked why they did not join IF Metall’s planned walkout, the Tesla staff reportedly noted that they did not see the need to strike because their working conditions and wages were already better than their previous workplaces. 

Some younger employees also reportedly stated that their salary and career paths are much better at Tesla as compared to other automakers. They also appreciated the fact that they were issued stock options from the company, some of whom have reportedly seen an increase of several hundred percent to date. 

What is interesting is that IF Metall and the Tesla workers in Sweden had actually met several times in the past. The employees, however, were reportedly unimpressed with what the union was offering. Granted, some Tesla workers in Sweden are union members, but some reportedly joined only due to force of habit. One such member who received a strike notice from the union noted that he did not feel like walking off the job on Friday. 

“The fact that nobody went on strike is a sign of what we think,” one of the Tesla technicians said. 

Overall, only a few people who were union members opted to go on strike across the country. The majority of union members at Tesla Sweden opted to stay at work. Interestingly enough, the employees who opted to share their thoughts on the matter decided to keep their anonymity over fear of reprisal — not from Tesla but from the union itself.

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