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Tesla sues Swedish agency in bid to defeat striking workers

TESLA filed a lawsuit against Sweden’s Transport Agency today as its dispute with Swedish unions demanding collective bargaining rights intensified.

Striking postal workers are refusing to deliver licence plates for Tesla vehicles in the latest phase of a battle that began over a month ago when hundreds of mechanics and sales staff organised in the IF Metall union walked out after talks on a collective agreement broke down.

Tesla claims its inability to access licence plates to allow its cars to be sold constitutes an “unlawful discriminatory attack” which it is the agency’s responsibility to prevent.

Transport Agency spokesman Mikael Andersson said it did not share Tesla’s view that it could be held responsible. “Tesla have decided to have the issue tested in court, which is their right,” he said.

Tesla is an anti-union employer globally. It and owner Elon Musk have been cited multiple times by the US National Labour Relations Board for “illegal or improper anti-unionising activities,” including interrogating or disciplining staff for supporting unionisation.

IF Metall says that Tesla’s refusal to sign a collective agreement — company negotiators pleaded in October that they could not secure a sign-off from the global HQ in California for such an agreement — “violates basic principles in the Swedish labour market.”

Its mechanics have refused to service Tesla cars, while dock workers at Sweden’s four biggest ports have stopped unloading Tesla cars. The postal workers’ refusal to deliver licence plates is the most recent solidarity action with IF Metall members. Mr Musk said their action is “insane.”


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