Tesla dispute to be reviewed by Swedish court

Tesla dispute to be reviewed by Swedish court

Automotive News Europe — 2023-11-29

Automotive Industry

A district court in Stockholm refused to issue a snap injunction that would have forced the Swedish postal service to deliver license plates for Tesla’s cars, postponing a possible temporary ruling on the matter until Friday at the earliest.

It’s the second case filed by Tesla to limit the impact of an escalating labor-market conflict in Sweden, where unions are blockading work related to the US automaker as they seek to protect a decades-old model of setting wages.

As part of the conflict, postal workers are refusing to handle any Tesla-related deliveries. That’s caused license plates destined for new Teslas to pile up at the postal service that’s not delivering them to dealerships though they’ve been sent by the Swedish Transport Agency.

The district court said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon it does not agree with Tesla’s claims the license-plate stop is of such a magnitude as to warrant the issuing of a snap temporary injunction until the postal service, PostNord AB, has had a chance to comment on the lawsuit.

The court has given PostNord until Friday to respond, after which it could give a temporary ruling.

In a related case on Monday, Tesla won a temporary injunction after it sued the Swedish Transport Agency, which had argued its government ordinance said it could only deliver the license plates via the Swedish postal service.

The court ordered the agency to instead hand over the plates directly to Tesla while the case is being considered.

The license plate issue had even garnered the attention of Tesla’s chief executive officer, Elon Musk, who last week described the case as “insane” in a post on X.

The Swedish postal service has previously argued that constitutional rights to strike and to exert blockades are stronger than its duty to deliver mail to Tesla, invoking force majeure in the case.

The Swedish labor-union actions against Tesla started on 27 October when members of the industrial workers’ union IF Metall staged a walkout at seven Tesla-owned repair shops in the country.

Since then, another eight unions have thrown their weight behind the strike, including dockworkers, electricians and building maintenance workers.