Tesla filed a lawsuit against Sweden’s Transport Agency on Monday regarding a strike by postal workers that prevented the delivery of license plates for Tesla cars. This was part of an ongoing conflict between Sweden’s labor unions and the U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer.
Around a month ago, mechanics at seven Tesla-owned repair shops in Sweden went on strike, leading to other industries’ laborers, such as dockworkers, electricians, painters, and postal workers, to join in the strike action. These workers refused to provide their services to Tesla. The strike even impacted a factory that produced aluminum parts for Tesla’s factory in Germany, where 50 metalworkers walked off the job last week. The strike escalated when postal workers refused to deliver any mail or packages to Tesla’s facilities, including the license plates on Nov. 20.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, criticized the widespread strikes, calling them “insane.” Despite Sweden being a relatively small market for Tesla and not having any car production in the country, Tesla’s Model Y remains a top-seller in Sweden.
On Monday, Tesla took legal action against the Transport Agency, which oversees license plate production, and the postal company, PostNord. Tesla argued that its employees should be allowed to pick up the license plates from the agency. The company initiated a lawsuit against the agency and demanded it to make the plates available to Tesla, threatening a fine of 1 million kronor if not allowed to retrieve the plates.
However, the agency stated that it believes it is meeting its obligation to produce license plates for newly registered vehicles in Sweden. The issue has been brought to the courts, impacting the delivery of the license plates.
Given Sweden’s history of organized labor, hundreds of workers across the country have joined IF Metall in pressuring Tesla to negotiate with the union. Although Tesla has resisted global employee organizing efforts, it still faces challenges with labor unions in several countries, including Sweden.