Tesla Faces Backlash from Swedish Workers: Understanding the Boycott and its Consequences

In recent years, there have been a number of issues with the US manufacturer’s cars in various countries. In Germany, Tesla is struggling to come to terms with the union and there is no collective agreement at the Grünheide plant in Brandenburg. This has led to serious deficiencies in safety and an extreme workload for the workers.

In Sweden, workers from various sectors have come together to boycott Tesla. This has resulted in the company not being able to unload its electric cars in Swedish ports, repair charging stations or clean showrooms. Reports suggest that the US company no longer even receives its mail in Sweden.

This conflict is not just about wages but also about basic principles. Tesla refuses collective agreements, which cover 90 percent of employees and are considered a cornerstone in Sweden. When mechanics went on strike to force the conclusion of a collective agreement, the company tried to fly in strikebreakers from other countries; this only escalated the conflict further.

The situation is reminiscent of the one with the US toy company Toys “R” Us, which expanded into Sweden in 1995 and refused to conclude a collective agreement. After three months of industrial action involving commercial employees and other unions, the company finally signed

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