Swedish union allows temporary Tesla repairs as strike nears fourth month

AFP/The Local
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Swedish union allows temporary Tesla repairs as strike nears fourth month
A striking union member outside a Tesla hub in Örebro. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Sweden's metalworkers union said it would temporarily allow some repairs of Tesla cars, as a strike over the electric carmaker's refusal to sign a collective wage agreement continues.


The Swedish strike, launched by the metal workers' union IF Metall, began on October 27th when some 130 mechanics at 10 Tesla repair shops in seven cities walked off the job.

IF Metall then extended the strike to include work on Teslas at other repair shops which served multiple brands.

The strike has since grown into a larger conflict between Tesla and almost a dozen unions seeking to protect Sweden's labour model, including postal workers, dock workers and even spreading to neighbouring Nordic countries.

"As the conflict looks set to go on, IF Metall is now offering a temporary exemption. It will help Tesla owners who have been hardest hit by the conflict," IF Metall said in a statement, stressing that Tesla was still refusing to sign a collective wage agreement.

Negotiated sector by sector, collective agreements with unions are the basis of the Nordic labour market model, covering almost 90 percent of all employees in Sweden and 80 percent in Denmark, and guaranteeing wages and working conditions.

Despite the fact that many of Tesla's employees in Sweden are union members, they cannot benefit from the collective bargaining agreements unless Tesla signs on to them.


Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has long rejected calls to allow the company's 127,000 employees worldwide to unionise.

The exemption to allow repairs will run from February 19th to April 30th, and was only for Teslas not in a drivable state, IF Metall said.

It will also only apply to repair shops that serve multiple brands and not the main Tesla workshops.

In addition, it will only cover older cars and not those seeking repairs under a Tesla warranty.


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