The unions representing dockworkers in Danish and Norwegian ports as well as the workers who transport cars plan to refuse to handle Tesla automobiles bound for Sweden in sympathy strikes supporting the ongoing action in Sweden. The two unions severed strike notices yesterday and today in response to reports that Tesla might be seeking to divert cars bound for Sweden into neighboring countries and drive them across the border after Sweden unions closed all the country’s ports to the manufacturer’s auto imports.
What began as a small strike in Sweden seeking an enterprise agreement for about 120 to 130 mechanics who work in Tesla’s maintenance operations is quickly becoming a regional issue with both sides deeply entrenched. Sweden’s powerful union IF Metall, which says it has over 300,000 members in the manufacturing, chemical, mining, and automotive industries, launched the strike on October 27 after prolonged attempts at negotiations with Tesla.
IF Metall contends that more than 90 percent of Sweden’s workers are covered by enterprise agreements, noting “Collective agreements are the basis of the Swedish labor market. They argue they are fighting for “decent and safe working conditions,” with the agreements covering wages, form of employment, occupational pension, working hours, vacations, and periods of notice. They note with these agreements in place, there is an obligation to maintain labor peace noting there are very few labor market conflicts in Sweden.
Tesla’s flamboyant CEO Elon Musk is an outspoken critic of unions. Speaking with The New York Times he recently said “I disagree with the idea of unions. I think unions naturally try to create negativity in a company.”
After launching the strike, IF Metall appealed to its peers for support. The union representing Sweden’s dockworkers initially said it would not handle the cars at four ports but later widened the ban to all Tesla cars at all ports or entering the country. Other unions across Sweden also joined in support of the strike including the country’s postal workers who are refusing to handle packages including the license plates needed to deliver Tesla cars to buyers. Tesla sued the post office and Swedish Transport Authority, but today a court stayed a temporary injunction leaving it to the appeals court to decide the issue. So for now, Tesla has no way to get license plates in Sweden.
Denmark’s 3F union issued a statement on December 5 announcing that it had filed a notice to stop offloading and transporting Tesla vehicles to Sweden. There had been speculation that Tesla might begin trucking cars across the Øresund bridge from Denmark, which would be about a seven-hour drive to reach its facilities in Sweden. Tesla’s electric vehicles are the most popular models in Sweden with buyers often already waiting for deliveries.
“IF Metall and the Swedish workers are currently fighting an incredibly important battle. When they ask for our support, we naturally back up,” said Jan Villadsen, chairman of 3F Transport. “Even if you are one of the richest people in the world, you can’t just make your own rules. We have some agreements on the labor market in the Nordics, and you have to comply with them if you want to do business here. Solidarity is the cornerstone of the trade union movement and extends across national borders.”
Reports indicate it is the first time in seven years that neighboring labor unions have crossed borders in support of each other in Scandinavia. Swedish pilots in 2015 supported a strike by pilots in Norway and indications are that the Norwegian are now ready to also provide support in the Tesla strike.
Fellesforbundet, which calls itself the largest union in the private sector in Norway and represents employees in industry, car workshops, ports, and transport, announced today that it has also filed a two-week notice to commence a boycott aimed at the transport of Tesla cars to the Swedish market. Echoing the sentiments of their Danish colleagues and the Swedish union that represents the dockworkers, Fellesforbundet leader Jørn Eggum said in his statement, “In the Nordic countries, there is broad agreement about the importance of a well-organized working life… The right to demand a collective agreement is a natural part of our working life, and we cannot accept that Tesla stands outside this.”
Media reports indicate that the expansion of the strike and supporting boycotts might reach further. Finland’s unions are reportedly considering launching a similar boycott against Tesla. The manufacturer’s nearest facility to Sweden would become Germany, but reports highlight the impracticality of attempting to transport the cars from Germany. The Danish and Norwegian boycotts will launch in two weeks after the notice period has been completed.
In June, a UK Royal Navy destroyer and Dutch Royal Navy ship safely moored in Odessa, Ukraine, were spoofed to locations off-shore of a Russian naval base on Crimea. One week later, it was a US Navy ship moored in the same port that was spoofed (above). These are interesting cases in several ways. First, how […]
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
As the shipping industry works to develop its path towards decarbonization, one large shipowner has decided to use the existing technology to start a conversion to methanol while longer-term solutions continue to be developed. Eastern Pacific Shipping, which has a fleet of containerships, dry bulk carriers, and tankers totally 15 million dwt, will work with […]
The First DP2, Twin-Hulled SOV in the World, NB72 Groene Wind met the Sea on September 29. 2020 in Yalova, Turkey. The Groene Wind will be directly chartered to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the maintenance of the Rentel and Mermaid & Seastar (known as SeaMade) offshore wind farms in Belgium. This is the first DP2, […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]