Swedish court rules against Tesla in dispute with postal service over deliveries

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Tesla lost a legal battle with Sweden’s postal service on Thursday as a fight with Nordic trade unions escalates. A Swedish court said PostNord does not for the time being need to deliver licence plates to Tesla that are being blocked by the postal service’s workers, in the latest twist in a fight over collective bargaining agreements. Tesla is facing growing pressure in Sweden, Norway and Denmark from unions backing Swedish IF Metall’s mechanics who went on strike on Oct. 27 demanding a collective agreement with the company. A large Danish pension fund on Wednesday said it would sell its holdings in Tesla over its refusal to enter into such deals. The court’s decision on Thursday comes after Tesla sued PostNord as workers stopped delivering plates for its new cars in a sympathy strike, and is an interim decision ahead of the court’s final ruling. “The district court has decided that PostNord should not be forced make deliveries to Tesla before the case is closed,” the Solna district court said in a statement. Dockworkers, drivers, electricians and cleaners are other workers who refuse, or are threatening to refuse, to service Tesla in sympathy with IF Metall. The Nordics is a key market for Tesla, which has a policy of not agreeing to collective bargaining and has said its staff have as good or better terms than those IF Metall is demanding. Last year, Norway was Tesla’s fourth-biggest market by number of new car sales. Sweden was its fifth-biggest and Tesla’s Model Y is the most sold car in Sweden this year. In a case related to the PostNord case, a court on Nov. 27 ruled that Sweden’s transport authority must find a way to get licence plates to Tesla. The agency has appealed the decision. Some Swedish pension funds have urged Tesla to sign the agreement with the union, but so far held off selling its shares.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; additional reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)