Workers at Tesla in Sweden, for the first time globally, have gone on strike, sparking concerns of global implications.
The strike originated when 130 mechanics had their request for a collective bargaining agreement rejected.
More than 90% of workers in Sweden are protected by collective bargaining agreements, contributing to decades of industrial peace.
Unions from various sectors in Sweden, including dockworkers, mail and delivery workers, cleaners, and car painters, have shown solidarity by refusing to work with Tesla products.
The dispute, initially a local disagreement, has grown and could potentially impact labor movements and auto workers in Europe and the US.
While Tesla doesn't manufacture cars in Sweden, its workshops for servicing cars have been affected by the strike.
The conflict may spread to Germany, where Tesla has larger operations, and the German union IG Metall is prepared for collective bargaining negotiations.
The Swedish labor relations model, with its emphasis on collective bargaining, has historically led to fewer strikes compared to neighboring Nordic countries.
Attempts by foreign and domestic tech giants to challenge the Swedish labor model have faced resistance and may backfire.
The global context includes a trend of successful strikes and labor union victories in 2023, indicating a shift in the power balance.