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Scandinavian Workers Strike Against Tesla

Swedish technicians at Tesla are currently engaged in a six-week strike against Tesla because they want a collective agreement on the terms of their employment. Port workers have refused to load or unload the cars in solidarity. Workers from Finland, Norway, and Denmark have joined the protest. Although the strike began with the Swedish technicians, it has since grown to tens of thousands of workers, per the Washington Post. Norwegian and Finnish ports have closed to Tesla. Danish truckers refuse to drive Teslas through the country. Postal workers will not deliver license plates to new Tesla cars. Cleaners will not work in Tesla's Swedish offices, and electricians will not service the company's charging points. Waste collectors from Sweden just joined and refused to pick up from Tesla's repair shops. The Post called it the largest coordinated strike against Tesla since its founding twenty years ago.

Northern Europe represents a small fraction of Tesla's sales, but many Scandinavian individuals are wealthy and climate-conscious. As demand for Teslas went up, so did the technicians' workload. But Tesla refused to raise wages. The Swedish labor market relies significantly on collective agreements because workplace regulations are minimal. About 65% of Swedish workers belong to unions, one of the highest percentages in the world. European labor leaders and experts believe Elon Musk will not enter talks with the Swedish workers because of concerns about the impact on U.S. labor issues. Following a successful strike against American automakers, the United Auto Workers union indicated it intends to target Tesla. German workers are also considering organizing at a Berlin Tesla superplant.

Tesla and Musk did not comment to the Post regarding the Swedish strike. However, Musk called the mail carriers' actions in Sweden "insane" in a Twitter reply. Musk has previously commented publicly about his negative views of unions, saying they try to "create negativity in a company." Thus far, neither the Swedish workers nor Musk is giving in.