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Wanted: Nordic expert to help Elon Musk defuse Tesla union row

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Tesla is seeking to hire a government affairs specialist in Sweden to help resolve escalating strikes against the US carmaker in the Nordic countries.

The company is looking for someone with “a proven track record of getting regulatory changes made in the Nordics” to be based in Stockholm or Oslo, according to a posting on its careers site. 

What began in October as a strike by mechanics against Tesla in Sweden has spread to three neighbouring countries, as dockworkers in Denmark, Finland and Norway have warned they will stop offloading Tesla cars bound for Sweden in the coming days.

The job advert states the person is needed “to help ensure that the political, regulatory and fiscal frameworks in the ‘Nordics’ (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland) support Tesla’s mission”. 

It added that “significant experience with Nordic legislative and regulatory advocacy is needed”. 

Although it is unlikely Tesla will lobby to overturn the collective bargaining model that is at the heart of Sweden’s labour market, the situation has entangled the carmaker with the region’s politics. 

Norway’s governing Labour party summoned Tesla to parliament last week to answer questions about the affair. In his reply to the party, Tesla’s Norwegian boss Axel Tangen said the company followed all Norwegian laws, including on the labour market, Norwegian media reported.

“Tesla has no form of global policy against organised labour,” Tangen added. His comments stand in contrast with chief executive Elon Musk’s recent statement that “I disagree with the idea of unions”.

Separately, several Nordic pension funds including KLP of Norway and PFA of Denmark are preparing to send a letter to Tesla asking the carmaker to respect the principle of collective bargaining. This came after PensionDanmark, a Danish pension fund, sold its $70mn stake in Tesla in protest at its “very categorical denial to reach collective agreements in any country”.

Tesla’s refusal to allow collective bargaining in its repair workshops in Sweden has been leapt on by unions as a rejection of the country’s way of doing business, and has seen the carmaker hit by strikes since October. 

Under Swedish law, unions are allowed to go on strike out of sympathy for other, un-unionised workers. 

Tesla, which runs a series of repair workshops in the country, has seen some of its workers walk out, while dockworkers are refusing to unload its cars and postal workers are refusing to deliver registration plates. Earlier this week, refuse workers said they would stop collecting rubbish from its sites from December 24.

Musk has called the walkouts “insane”. 

The company has lodged two legal cases as it tries to keep its sales business in the country operational. Earlier this week a court ruled that Tesla could not collect undelivered registration plates directly from the transport authority, after postal workers refused to deliver them. 

Although Sweden is only Tesla’s fifth-largest market in Europe, the brand sells more cars in the combined Nordic countries than in any single European country, including Germany. 

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

This article was originally published by a www.ft.com . Read the Original article here. .

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