Elon Musk finds the Tesla strikes in Sweden 'unbelievable.'

Elon Musk finds the Tesla strikes in Sweden 'unbelievable.'

Labor disputes at the carmaker regarding collective bargaining have triggered a series of sympathy strikes, potentially spreading to other nations.

The intensifying strike against Tesla by Swedish unions has been denounced as "unreasonable" by Elon Musk, as the labor action poses a potential threat to disrupt the carmaker's operations not only in Sweden but also in other European regions.

Approximately 130 mechanics affiliated with the IF Metall union in Sweden, responsible for servicing Tesla's electric cars, initiated the strike after the company rejected their plea for collective bargaining.

In solidarity with the striking mechanics, dockworkers and car dealers have declined to engage with the Tesla brand, heightening the risk of significant disruptions to the company's business in Sweden and potentially beyond. The latest addition to the strike by postal workers implies that Tesla customers will not receive their car license plates on time.

Expressing his dismay, Musk, the CEO of Tesla known for his opposition to unionization, labeled the situation as "unreasonable" in a post on his social media platform, X.

Despite establishing a factory in Germany, a country where auto unions hold considerable power, Tesla has consistently evaded engaging in collective bargaining across its global operations.

Industry experts highlight that this scenario has been a jolting revelation for Musk, who has actively avoided unionization efforts. The situation is considered a wake-up call for him and the company's policies.

Concerns have arisen among unions in Norway, a significant market for electric vehicle sales in Europe, as they have vowed to prevent Teslas intended for Sweden from being unloaded in their country.

The primary fear for Tesla now is the possibility of unions in other countries, particularly in Germany, joining the strike in solidarity with their Swedish counterparts, according to analysts.

While Tesla previously relied on imports from China, its Berlin factory currently supplies almost three-quarters of the models it sells in the region.

Experts warn of the potential for the strike's impact to spread to different countries and be replicated elsewhere, with Germany posing the most significant risk due to the strength of its unions.

Although Sweden represents a relatively small market for Tesla compared to its main markets in the UK, Germany, and France, trade unionists and academics in Sweden are concerned that the carmaker's operation without a union agreement could undermine the country's established labor model with collective agreements.

Moreover, Tesla might encounter increased pressure for unionization across its global network, including efforts by the United Auto Workers, a prominent US union, which is targeting Tesla as it aims to expand its influence beyond the traditional Detroit carmakers.

-------This article is partly excerpted from The Guardian.
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