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Norwegian Unions to Join Sweden in Tesla Tiff

The move sends "a clear signal to Tesla."

The company logo shines off the rear deck of an unsold 2020 Model X at a Tesla dealership in Littleton, Colo, on April 26, 2020.
The company logo shines off the rear deck of an unsold 2020 Model X at a Tesla dealership in Littleton, Colo, on April 26, 2020.
AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A conglomerate of unions in Norway said Wednesday it will take action against Tesla in solidarity with its Swedish colleagues, who are demanding that the Texas-based automaker sign a collective bargaining agreement.

Jørn Eggum, the head of Fellesforbundet, or the United Federation of Trade Unions, said if Tesla doesn't accept the demand from Sweden's powerful metalworkers' union IF Metall by Dec. 20, "we will proceed with the implementation of boycott actions." Fellesforbundet is organizing, among others, employees in car repair workshops.

"This is a clear signal to Tesla that they cannot transport Swedish Teslas through Norway," Eggum said, adding it was too early to say exactly which measures will be implemented. If they attempt it anyway, "it will be met with actions, and we will take the measures necessary to make this work."

Dock workers at Sweden's four largest ports already have stopped the delivery of Tesla vehicles in solidarity with the 130 members of IF Metall who walked out on Oct. 27, at seven workshops across Sweden where the popular electric cars are serviced.

Several Swedish unions, including postal workers, have since joined in a wave of solidarity with IF Metall's demands.

Tesla, which is non-unionized globally, has no manufacturing plant in Sweden but has several service centers.

The move comes a day after the United Federation of Workers in neighboring Denmark said there had been speculation that Tesla would deliver its cars to Danish ports and transport them on trucks to Sweden after Swedish dock workers blocked the reception of Tesla cars there.

The head of Norway's Fellesforbundet, which claims to have nearly 170,000 members, said Swedish union members were taking up "the fight against a union-hostile company."

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