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As Tesla works to get its mammoth new factory in Germany up and running by the summer, disturbing delicate reptile habitats may be the least of Elon Musk’s worries.
After sparring with locals over everything from water supply to deforestation, there may be an even larger threat looming: Germany’s largest union.
Tesla hasn’t made many friends of labor activists in the US, and the 2.2-million-strong IG Metall isn’t likely to go down without a fight, experts told Insider. A prolonged battle over contracts with the group — which wields considerable political influence and social capital — could derail Tesla’s ambitious plans for the European market.
A standoff over contracts
Virtually every car company operating in Germany is a member of an employers’ association, and IG Metall — which represents metalworkers in the auto industry and other sectors — negotiates industry-wide contracts with the group instead of bargaining with each company individually. That system gives the country’s unions considerably more negotiating power than their US counterparts, which vote to unionize plant by plant.
But there’s a catch — joining the association isn’t required by law, it’s only customary. And Tesla has made every indication it’s not interested in following that deep-rooted norm.
The carmaker …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Tech