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Scandinavian Workers are HAMMERING Elon Musk’s Tesla

UAW Begins Largest Union Campaign in Modern History

Elon Musk Doesn’t Agree with the “Idea” of Unions

Auto Workers Direct Momentum Toward Organizing Plants Across the U.S.

By Luis Feliz Leon - Labor Notes, November 30, 2023

“The company knows that Toyota workers are watching,” said Auto Workers President Shawn Fain on November 3. “And when the time comes, Toyota workers and all non-union auto workers are going to be ready to stand up.”

That time has come—yesterday the UAW announced its plan, already in motion, to organize the whole auto sector. “Workers across the country, from the West to the Midwest and especially in the South, are reaching out to join our movement and to join the UAW,” said Fain in a new video.

The union says thousands of workers have reached out asking for support in unionizing their auto plants. They’ve scoured the old websites from previous union drives and filled out forms to be put in touch with an organizer.

“To all the auto workers out there working without the benefits of a union: Now it’s your turn,” he said, inviting auto workers to join the organizing push and telling them where they can electronically sign union cards, at

Thousands of non-union auto workers are already organizing across the 10 foreign-owned transplants, including Toyota, Hyundai, and Mercedes, as well as in the electric vehicle sector at Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid. Overall, the organizing drive will cover 150,000 workers—roughly the same number of workers covered under the Big 3 contracts—across 13 automakers.

“Free Speech Absolutist” Elon Musk Tries to BAN SPEECH at Tesla, Courts BACK HIM UP

By Union Jake and Adam Keller - Valley Labor Report, November 22, 2023

GENERAL STRIKE Breaking Out Against Tesla in Sweden

Tesla Faces Off Against Nordic Labor Solidarity

By Ryan Cooper - The Prospect, November 21, 2023

Electric-vehicle manufacturer Tesla has been involved in an escalating dispute with IF Metall, the trade union representing its mechanics in Sweden. After several years of the union trying to get the company to sign a collective-bargaining agreement, the mechanics went on strike on October 27—and now Tesla is facing a full-blown campaign of sympathy strikes. Dockworkers are refusing to unload Tesla shipments, electricians will not repair Tesla chargers, cleaning companies will not service Tesla buildings, and now as of Monday, the Swedish postal union is refusing to deliver Tesla mail and packages.

As my colleague Harold Meyerson noted last week, these kind of strikes are largely illegal in the United States thanks to the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act (though the exact legal details, as usual in the American context, are hideously complicated). Carry out a sympathy strike in the States and you might be fired, see your union decertified, or even be sued for damages.

In theory, Tesla could just abandon the Swedish market, but it is quite large relative to its size—nearly 45 percent of auto sales there this year have been EVs, and the Tesla Model Y has been the best-selling vehicle by a big margin. So it’s worth examining the Tesla situation for some lessons.

This is far from the first time an arrogant foreign business, convinced that it can impose U.S.-style hyper-exploitative labor relations at will, has tangled with Nordic union power and been unceremoniously crushed. Probably the most famous previous example was when McDonald’s tried to bigfoot the Danish labor movement in the 1980s by refusing to sign any union contracts.

The UAW’s Next Fight: Organizing Nonunion Companies Like Tesla

By Alex N Press - Jacobin, November 14, 2023

In speaking about the details of the tentative agreements now secured with the Big Three automakers, United Auto Workers (UAW) president Shawn Fain said, “One of our biggest goals coming out of this contract victory is to organize like we’ve never organized before.”

“When we return to the bargaining table in 2028, it won’t just be the Big Three, but with the Big Five or Big Six,” he concluded.

Those weren’t empty words. The same day that the union announced that it had reached a tentative agreement with General Motors (GM), the final company of the Big Three to reach a deal, news broke that the UAW was already on the move. Bloomberg reported that workers have formed an organizing committee with the UAW at Tesla’s flagship Fremont, California, plant.

Before Tesla purchased the plant in 2010, it was a UAW shop, an unusual joint venture between Toyota and GM. The two companies operated the facility for twenty-five years; GM pulled out during its 2009 bankruptcy proceedings, and Toyota shut the factory down the following year. When Tesla took over, the union was not part of the agreement.

Today the 5.3 million square-foot Fremont plant employs some twenty thousand workers, and while there have been efforts to unionize it with the UAW in recent years, those attempts failed, thanks in part to Elon Musk’s unwavering opposition to unions. When Jose Moran, then a production worker at the Fremont plant, led the charge to organize in 2017, the tech CEO called the effort “morally outrageous” and went after Moran publicly, claiming that he was on the UAW’s payroll and didn’t actually work for Tesla. (Moran is no longer employed at the plant, and Musk has appealed the National Labor Relations Board rulings that declared his actions illegal.) None of that history seems to be stopping the UAW.

“We can beat anybody,” Fain told Bloomberg of taking on Tesla. “I believe it’s doable.”

The Global Significance of the UAW’s Victory

By Sam Pizzigati - ZNetwork, November 10, 2023

Working people the world over have celebrated the first of May as “International Labor Day” since 1886, when workers in the United States struggling for an eight-hour day staged a May 1 national protest.

Thanks to the new deal America’s auto workers have signed with Detroit’s Big Three — Ford, GM, and Stellantis — that day could have new global significance. Their watershed new contracts all set April 30, 2028 as their expiration date.

If May 1, 2028 arrives without signed contracts for America’s unionized auto workers, UAW president Shawn Fain has made plain, these workers don’t plan on walking out alone.

“We invite unions around the country to align your contract expirations with our own so that together we can begin to flex our collective muscles,” says Fain. “If we’re going to truly take on the billionaire class and rebuild the economy so that it starts to work for the benefit of the many and not the few, then it’s important that we not only strike but that we strike together.”

But that May 1 day is clearly inviting coordination beyond the national level.

The May Day that workers worldwide have so long honored, Fain notes, has always been “more than just a day of commemoration, it’s a call to action.” And the labor movement worldwide is showing real signs of acting more in strategic concert.

Within the global auto industry, no corporation more embodies the inequality of our corporate world than the non-union Tesla. Under CEO Elon Musk, the world’s richest single individual, Tesla pays wages that run substantially below those of Detroit’s Big Three, and that gap will only widen after the new UAW contracts go into effect.

The new UAW contracts, predicts German Bender of the Swedish think-tank Arena, could well “boost union interest among Tesla workers.”

The Big Three Have Fallen


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