Swedish court rules against Tesla in labour dispute; Finnish union joins strike

Emma Hansson, chairman of IF Metall Stockholms lan, stands on strike exterior Tesla’s Service Center in Segeltorp, as workshop staff on the electrical automotive firm Tesla have gone on strike demanding that the corporate signal a collective settlement, in Stockholm, Sweden, October 27, 2023. Jessica Gow/TT News Agency/through REUTERS/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

STOCKHOLM, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Tesla (TSLA.O) misplaced a chapter in a authorized battle with Sweden’s postal service on Thursday as a battle with Nordic commerce unions escalates, with a Finnish union becoming a member of a port blockade that may forestall the carmaker from importing its autos to Sweden.

A Swedish court dominated PostNord doesn’t in the interim must ship licence plates to Tesla which can be being blocked by the postal service’s staff, in the newest twist in a battle over collective bargaining agreements.

Tesla is dealing with rising stress in the Nordic international locations from highly effective worker unions backing Swedish IF Metall’s mechanics who went on strike on Oct. 27 demanding a collective settlement with the corporate.

Finnish transport staff’ union AKT selected Thursday to affix the sympathy strike against Tesla, saying it might begin a blockade of Tesla autos destined to Sweden in all Finnish ports from Dec. 20.

“That means Tesla vehicles or components destined to Swedish markets are not loaded by dockers,” AKT mentioned in an announcement.

AKT’s announcement adopted related choices by Swedish, Danish and Norwegian dockworkers, which means Tesla shall be successfully barred from transport its automobiles to Sweden.

“It is a vital a part of the Nordic labour market mannequin that we’ve got collective agreements and unions help one another, AKT president Ismo Kokko mentioned in an announcement.

The Nordics is a key marketplace for Tesla, which has a coverage of not agreeing to collective bargaining and has mentioned its employees have pretty much as good or higher phrases than these IF Metall is demanding.

A big Danish pension fund mentioned on Thursday it had bought its holdings in Tesla over its refusal to enter into such offers.

“We bought our Tesla shares on December 6, after they had a market worth of 476 million Danish crowns,” ($68.9 million) PensionDanmark informed Reuters by electronic mail.

Some Swedish pension funds have additionally urged Tesla to signal the settlement with the union, however up to now held off promoting its shares.

The court’s determination on Thursday comes after Tesla sued PostNord as staff stopped delivering plates for its new automobiles in a sympathy strike, and is an interim determination forward of the court’s remaining ruling.

“The district court has determined that PostNord shouldn’t be compelled make deliveries to Tesla earlier than the case is closed,” the Solna district court mentioned in an announcement.

Dockworkers, drivers, electricians and cleaners are different staff who refuse, or are threatening to refuse, to service Tesla in sympathy with IF Metall.

Seko, the union that organised the PostNord staff behind the sympathy strike, welcomed the court’s newest determination.

“It’s concerning the Swedish collective settlement mannequin, and there’s a consensus on it, each politically and between the events in the labour market, Seko’s president Gabriella Lavecchia informed Reuters by electronic mail.

Last yr, Norway was Tesla’s fourth-biggest market by variety of new automotive gross sales. Sweden was its fifth-biggest and Tesla’s Model Y is essentially the most bought automotive in Sweden this yr.

In a case associated to the PostNord one, a court on Nov. 27 dominated that Sweden’s transport authority should discover a technique to get licence plates to Tesla. The company has appealed the choice.

Tesla and IF Metall didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

“This is insane,” Tesla chief government Elon Musk mentioned in a touch upon X social media on Nov. 23, in response to information on PostNord not delivering license plates to new Tesla automobiles.

($1 = 6.9101 Danish crowns)

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom and Marie Mannes in Stockholm; Anne Kauranen in Helsinki; extra reporting by Johan Ahlander and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Nick Zieminski

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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