Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Urges Tesla to Respect Collective Bargaining Rights

         

Norway’s $1.5 trillion sovereign wealth fund, a major Tesla shareholder, demands the company to honor labor rights and collective bargaining.

Norwegian Fund’s Expectations

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, one of Tesla’s largest shareholders, insists that the company adheres to fundamental labor rights, including collective bargaining by labor unions. The $1.5 trillion fund expects companies it invests in to respect human rights, including labor rights, as per a statement to Reuters.

Shareholder Proposal

In 2022, the Norwegian fund supported a shareholder proposal at Tesla, urging the company to introduce a policy to respect the right to organize. However, only 32% of those who voted supported this proposal, which called on Tesla to adopt a policy of respecting labor rights such as freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Tesla’s Stance and Backlash

Tesla, known for revolutionizing the electric car market, has faced backlash in the Nordic region for refusing to accept the demands from Swedish mechanics for collective bargaining rights. CEO Elon Musk has been vocal about his opposition to unions, stating that the Swedish employees have as good or better terms than those demanded by the union.

Investment and Consequences

As a consequence of Tesla’s stance, PensionDanmark has divested its holdings in Tesla, and fund manager Paedagogernes Pension has announced its intention to follow suit. However, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund declined to comment on whether its investment in Tesla would be affected by the car maker’s opposition to organized labor.

Ethical Standards and Expectations

The Norwegian fund emphasizes that its expectations are based on international standards and conventions on human rights, including those outlined by the International Labour Organization (ILO). It expects the companies it invests in to engage with workers and their representatives, such as trade unions, in a transparent manner when developing and implementing policies and practices.

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