THE GROWING WORKERS STRIKE AGAINST THE CAR MANUFACTURER TESLA IN SWEDEN

اعتصاب رو به افزایش کارگران بر علیه خودروسازی تِسلا در سوئد

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‌By Hasse-Nima Golkar

The American electric car manufacturer Tesla, under the ownership of the great neoliberal capitalist “Elon Musk” (also the owner of X, the former Twitter) refuses to sign the “Collective Agreement” as demanded by the Metalworkers’ Union (IF-Metall). Tesla has no choice but to capitulate. The same had happened earlier with one of the major American toy manufacturers who, after about three months of “resistance”, were finally forced to agree to sign the “collective agreement”.

After this refusal to accept the signing of the “collective agreement” by Tesla’s head in Sweden (with direct orders from Elon Musk) as demanded by the Metal Workers Union, one of the fourteen unions that are part of the “Swedish Trade Union Confederation” (LO) , all repair shops and service providers related to Tesla cars have gone on strike from October 27, 2023, and refuse to provide any services at all. In this context, eight unions out of a total of fourteen other unions within LO have gone on a sympathy strike or warned of a strike. And this process of increasing solidarity continues.

The unions in Sweden will, without a doubt and in the end, either break the neck of Elon Musk (and others like him) and force him to capitulation in Sweden, or the Tesla company will disappear from the Swedish car market. There seems to be no third way out.

According to media information, approximately seventeen thousand Tesla cars have been registered in Sweden. It is also said that even some Tesla electric car owners support this strike.

Yesterday (November 23), Elon Musk expressed his angry opinion for the first time on X (Twitter): “This is insane”.

Note:

1-“Collective agreements” appeared in Europe at the end of the 19th century. But in Sweden, the so-called “Swedish model”, namely a contract based on “agreement and unity” between those who sell their labor (Worker) and those who buy labor (Capital) on the labor market, appeared in 1938.

In Sweden, workers in the private sector gained the right to negotiate and organize in their unions in 1928, and civil servants in 1936. Although the signing of a collective agreement is voluntary for labor-buying companies, but in practice, a trade union may require labor buyers to sign this contract. Because if there is no collective agreement at a workplace, there will not be equal working conditions, for example; wages, insurances, and pensions to all employees in the same line of work, but rather only these purchasers of labor (employers) will decide and implement the “Working Law” and “Working Conditions” of their own free will. The labor buyers, especially American, are staunch opponents of organized worker in any form.

In Sweden, all members of a trade union, regardless of whether they participated in the strike or not, have the right to receive full financial support from the “strike fund” from the first day of the strike until the end.

To date, approximately 650 collective agreements have been signed, including regarding the wage level and employment conditions, between labor buyers and various workers’ unions, both in the private and public sectors.

2-The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) was formed in Stockholm on 7 August 1898 with the aim of preserving the socio-economic interests of the working class, such as determining working hours, voting rights, insurance etc. which today consists of fourteen unions.

But historically, LO is very closely related to the “Social Democratic Party”. Because it has gradually distanced itself from the real interests of the working class and is rushing more and more for reconciliation and friendship with the buyers of labor, the capitalist system. This deviation still continues, unfortunately.

 

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