Swedish metal union threatens to strike at Tesla over collective bargaining agreement

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Swedish metal union threatens to strike at Tesla over collective bargaining agreement
The strike threat would see more than 120 Tesla employees walk out. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

More than 100 Tesla workers in Sweden could walk out on strike unless the global electric car manufacturer signs a collective bargaining agreement under the Swedish model, said the union.


Around 90 percent of employees in Sweden are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, and the metal workers' union, IF Metall, has long tried to negotiate one with Tesla without success.

The union is now threatening to order its members in all cities where Tesla operates service centres to walk out from the start of Friday next week.

The strike would affect Tesla's 120 mechanics at seven workshops, IF Metall spokesman Jesper Pettersson told the AFP news agency.

A Tesla spokesperson told The Local that it was not known how many employees would join the strike.

Tesla runs service centres in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Örebro, and Norrköping. 

“This dispute concerns our members’ salaries, pensions and insurances. In a broader sense, it also concerns the rules of the entire Swedish labour market. Companies should not be able to gain competitive advantages by giving employees worse conditions than they would have with a collective agreement,” said IF Metall’s representative Veli-Pekka Säikkälä in a statement.


Working conditions at major international companies have been a hot topic in Sweden in the past year after tech workers at Spotify and Klarna launched a push for collective agreements.

Those in favour of collective agreements argue that they are an essential part of the Swedish model, ensuring good and equal contracts for everyone. Those against argue that up-and-coming businesses in the modern labour market need more flexibility than these deals offer.

Spotify in September pulled out of negotiations with trade unions.

“While we have a lot of respect for collective bargaining agreements and the Swedish model, our employment conditions and benefits are already just as good or better than what is stipulated in a collective bargaining agreement and our plan remains to keep offering our employees first-rate wages and benefits,” a Spotify spokesperson told startup news site Breakit at the time.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also