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Elon Musk Cries Foul As Swedish Workers’ Strikes Against Tesla Intensify

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Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, and owner of Twitter.
Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, and owner of Twitter. (Photo: Imgur)

Elon Musk can’t take it anymore an he is expressing his frustration as Swedish workers’ strikes against Tesla intensify. The anti-union CEO took to X, his platform formerly known as Twitter, exclaiming, “This is insane!”

The protests began about a month ago, with Swedish postal workers now refusing to deliver Tesla license plates in solidarity with mechanics who ceased servicing Tesla cars in response to the company’s refusal to recognize their labor union. The strike has since expanded to include dockworkers blocking deliveries, electricians halting maintenance, and various other workers in Sweden joining the cause.

The initial strike by approximately 130 mechanics started in October after Tesla’s Swedish subsidiary refused to acknowledge their labor union, according to Expressen, a CNN affiliate. The IF Metall union in Sweden, which initiated the strike, emphasizes the importance of fair wages, pensions, and insurance for Tesla workers, pointing out that negotiations with the company have been ongoing.

While Sweden has a highly unionized workforce, unionizing at Tesla has proven challenging. Similar difficulties have been faced by Tesla workers in the United States, where at least three attempts to organize have failed due to aggressive company tactics and weak labor protections. The National Labor Relations Board in the US has repeatedly criticized Tesla and Elon Musk for illegal anti-union activities.

The strikes in Sweden may influence Tesla’s employees in Germany, where the company has a significant manufacturing plant. German unions have been pushing for a collective bargaining agreement for the 11,000 workers at the factory near Berlin, claiming that Tesla pays its employees less than other German carmakers and engages in questionable employment practices. Over 1,000 workers at the German factory joined a union during a recent day of protest.

Tesla’s plans to double the production capacity of the German plant could make it Europe’s largest car factory, surpassing Volkswagen’s plant in Wolfsburg.

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