Musk's Scandinavian woes deepen as Tesla loses Swedish court case, Finnish union joins port blockade

C.E.O. of Tesla, Chief Engineer of SpaceX and C.T.O. of X Elon Musk takes the stage in the course of the New York Times annual DealBook summit on November 29, 2023 in New York City. 

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

Tesla‘s troubles with labor unions in Scandinavia deepened on Thursday, because it misplaced authorized motion towards Sweden’s postal service over its refusal to ship licence plates to the U.S. electrical automobile big.

The postal service’s employees blocked Tesla license plate deliveries late final month in a present of solidarity with mechanics putting over the corporate’s refusal to signal a collective bargaining settlement with staff, which is customary in Sweden.

Tesla took authorized motion whereas CEO Elon Musk branded the transfer “insane,” however a Swedish courtroom dominated on Thursday that PostNord won’t be compelled to ship license plates for now.

Possibly extra regarding for Musk, nevertheless, would be the sympathy strikes spreading all through Scandinavia as fellow unions coalesce their assist behind the area’s deeply entrenched precept of collective bargaining as a lynchpin of labor relations.

Union members throughout a bunch of Swedish industries have joined the secondary strike motion with members of commerce union IF Metall, who’ve been embroiled in an ongoing battle with Tesla for round six weeks.

Earlier this week, Denmark’s largest commerce union introduced its personal sympathy strike to forestall Tesla vehicles being delivered to Danish ports and transported into Sweden.

Norway’s largest non-public sector union then on Wednesday introduced its intention to start blocking automobile shipments destined for Sweden from Dec. 20.

Finnish transport employees’ union AKT on Thursday confirmed {that a} blockade on Tesla automobiles earmarked for Sweden would additionally come into power throughout all Finnish ports from Dec. 20.

AKT Chairman Ismo Kokko stated collective agreements for employees have been “an essential part of the Nordic labor market system,” based on Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

Meanwhile, one among Denmark’s largest pension funds on Wednesday introduced that it will promote its holdings of Tesla inventory over the U.S. firm’s refusal to enter into agreements with labor unions. PensionDanmark bought the shares at a market worth of 476 million Danish krone ($68.8 million), based on Reuters.

PensionDanmark advised CNBC on Friday that its strategy to accountable investments is “based on international conventions and agreements, including the ILO conventions regarding labor rights.”

“If a company does not live up to our policies, we initially try to influence the company through active ownership – both directly and in coordination with other shareholders. This has also been the case in relation to Tesla,” the pension fund stated in an emailed assertion.

Should the fund assess that it isn’t in a position to exert ample affect on an organization, as has transpired with Tesla, it might determine to exclude that enterprise’ shares from its holdings.

“Seen in the light of the fact that the conflict is now spreading to Denmark as well as Tesla’s recent very categorical refusal to sign an agreement in any country, we have come to the conclusion that we as investors currently hardly have the opportunity to influence the company. And that is why we are now putting Tesla on our exclusion list,” PensionDanmark added.

Tesla’s coverage of not pursuing collective bargaining is assembly a broad ideological stalemate — such agreements between employers and employees function a lynchpin for Scandinavian financial fashions, which assure employees the best to barter wages, trip, extra time pay and different situations.

Tesla didn’t instantly reply to a CNBC request for remark.

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