Scandinavian Expert to Assist Elon Musk in Nullifying Tesla Union Dispute

Tesla strengthens Scandinavian lobbying efforts amidst spreading strikes impacting operations.

Tesla, the car manufacturer, is looking to hire a government affairs specialist in Sweden to help resolve the mounting strikes against the American automaker in the Scandinavian countries.

According to a job posting on the company's careers website, Tesla is seeking someone with a proven track record in "making regulatory changes in the Scandinavian countries" and who will be based in Stockholm or Oslo.

Worker strikes, initially beginning with mechanics in Sweden back in October, have now spread to three neighboring countries after dockworkers in Denmark, Finland, and Norway warned they would no longer unload Tesla cars arriving in Sweden in the coming days.

The vacancy states the need for someone to assist in "ensuring that the political, regulatory, and financial frameworks in Scandinavian countries support Tesla's mission."

The job listing also added that "significant experience in Scandinavian legislative and regulatory advocacy" is required.

While it is unlikely that Tesla would lobby to overturn the collective bargaining model at the heart of Sweden's labor market, the situation has entangled the automaker in regional politics.

Last week, Norway's ruling Labour Party called Tesla before Parliament to answer questions about the incident. According to the Norwegian media, Tesla's local boss, Axel Tangen, responded by assuring the party that the company complies with all Norwegian laws, including those pertaining to the labor market.

Tangen further stated, "Tesla does not have a global policy against organized labor," contradicting CEO Elon Musk's recent statement of "I do not agree with unions." Furthermore, several Scandinavian pension funds, including Norway's KLP and Denmark's PFA, are preparing to send a letter to Tesla urging the automaker to respect the principle of collective bargaining. This comes in response to the sale of $70 million worth of Tesla shares by Pension Danmark, a Danish pension fund, as a protest against the company's categorical refusal to engage in collective agreements in any country.

Tesla's refusal to allow collective bargaining in its repair workshops in Sweden has been seen as a rejection of the country's way of doing business, prompting strikes affecting the automaker since October. Under Swedish law, unions are granted the right to strike in solidarity with non-unionized workers.

Tesla, running a series of repair workshops in the country, has witnessed workers quitting, dockworkers refusing to unload cars, and postal workers refusing to deliver license plates. Earlier this week, garbage workers announced they would stop collecting trash from their sites starting from December 24. Musk referred to the strikes as "crazy." The company has filed two legal cases in an attempt to keep its sales operations running in the country. A court recently ruled that due to postal workers' refusal to deliver, Tesla cannot retrieve undelivered license plates directly from the transportation authority. Despite being Europe's fifth-largest market for Tesla, Sweden, along with the unified Scandinavian countries, outsells any other European country, including Germany. Tesla has not responded to requests for comment.

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14 Ara 2023 - 13:20 - Business

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