Tesla is facing labor pressure in Europe as a small Swedish union representing its workers there is on strike and it increases German worker wages, according to news reports.
The developments across the Atlantic come just as the United Auto Workers sets its sights on Tesla and other nonunionized automakers in the U.S. after brokering new contracts with the big three Detroit-area brands.
The Swedish IF Metall union struck Tesla last week after failing to forge a collective agreement with the Texas-based electric-vehicle maker, the labor group said in a statement on its website.
“The main reason for IF Metall to take industrial action at Tesla is to ensure that our members have decent and safe working conditions,” the statement said, indicating that the union had been trying to negotiate with Tesla for a “long period of time.”
The union said that 90% of Swedish workers are covered by collective agreements between unions and employers and that the sector-based contracts ensure sector-specific wages and working conditions, “avoiding the risk of any one employer distorting competition in the sector by imposing poor conditions on their employees.”
Meanwhile, Tesla is raising wages of its workers in Germany this month by 4%, the Wall Street Journal reported. Toyota similarly raised wages for workers in the U.S. after the UAW contract agreements ended six weeks of Detroit strikes.