December 22, 2023
From Socialist World

Elon Musk (Photo: Wikimedia commons)

In an unexpected turn of events, the Law Courts in Sweden ruled against Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, when he sued to make the Swedish postal workers handle the new number plates for the new Tesla cars that the company had sold. Musk bemoaned the blockage of licence plate deliveries by postal workers as “insane” and late last month filed lawsuits against both a Swedish Transport Agency and the postal service.

Striking Tesla workers in Sweden have been out on strike in an attempt to get trade union recognition and a collective agreement. The strike was in force for weeks in November and December. IF-Metall’s members at Tesla’s workshops in Sweden (TM Sweden AB) are demanding that a collective agreement be established. This demand has broad support in Sweden and several unions in Sweden and Denmark have notified and implemented sympathy actions.

Jan Villadsen, the leader of Denmark’s 3F Transport union, said that IF Metall and Swedish workers are “fighting an incredibly important battle” and therefore have his union’s full support..
In what appeared to be a direct attack on Elon Musk, Villadsen added that “even if you are one of the richest in the world, you can’t just make your own rules.”


Workers in Swedish ports refused to unload Tesla cars. Cleaners will no longer clean several of the car manufacturer’s “showrooms”. Electricians refused to carry out service or maintenance at Tesla or at the company’s charging stations .Construction work and repairs at the company’s workshops stopped.The workers at Postbud stopped delivering letters and parts to Tesla in Sweden. Dockworkers in Finland offered to join a port blockade. Trade unions in Germany sent messages of Solidarity.

Although union membership in Sweden has fallen in recent decades, many workers are still in unions and about nine in ten employees have collective arrangements. The Tesla strike attracted secondary action from eight other unions and threatened to spread to neighbouring Norway, where Fellesförbundet, the country’s largest private sector union, said it was prepared to take sympathy action. Fellesforbundet has also announced that they support the demand for a collective agreement, and the unionsent a notice of boycott and sympathy actions to workers in Tesla Sweden.

The leaders of the Norwegian Socialist Left (SV) encouraged other politicians to support the boycott. 

A continuous well coordinated strike can force Musk to accept trade union recognition and a collective agreement.  Solidarity Neal

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