Tesla faced a legal defeat against Sweden’s postal service amid a deepening dispute with Nordic trade unions.
A Swedish court ruled on Thursday that, at present, PostNord was not obligated to deliver license plates to the electric automaker, citing the ongoing standoff involving the postal workers in their conflict over collective bargaining agreements.
Elon Musk-led Tesla is encountering mounting challenges in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, as unions rally behind IF Metall mechanics who initiated a strike on October 27, seeking a collective agreement with the company.
Adding to the pressure, a major Danish pension fund announced divestment from Tesla due to the automaker's refusal to engage in such agreements. Furthermore, Denmark’s largest trade union has aligned with the strike by Tesla’s workers in Sweden.
In response to Tesla’s legal action against PostNord for halting license plate deliveries due to a sympathy strike, a district court in Solna issued an interim decision. The court stated that PostNord should not be compelled to deliver to Tesla until the case concludes.
Not only postal workers but also dock workers, drivers, electricians, and cleaners are either refusing or contemplating refusal to provide services to Tesla in solidarity with IF Metall.
The Nordic region holds significant importance for Tesla’s market, yet the company maintains a firm stance against collective bargaining, asserting that its staff already enjoy terms equal to or better than those demanded by IF Metall.
Elon Musk expressed his opposition to unions, stating, “I disagree with the idea of unions. I just don’t like anything which creates a lords-and-peasants kind of thing.”
Norway stood as Tesla’s fourth-largest market in terms of new car sales last year, while Sweden ranked fifth. Notably, Tesla’s Model Y has been the best-selling car in Sweden this year. In a related legal development regarding the PostNord issue, a court ruled on November 27 that the Swedish Transport Agency must find a means to deliver license plates to Tesla, a decision currently under appeal by the agency.
Despite calls from Swedish pension funds urging Tesla to negotiate with the union, they have refrained from selling their shares thus far.
--------This article is partly excerpted from Bloomberg.