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Swedes Support Tesla Mechanics' Strike, Poll Shows

STOCKHOLM, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Most Swedes support an ongoing mechanics strike at Tesla's workshops in the Nordic country over the right to collective bargaining, an opinion poll by Novus showed.

The U.S. car maker is facing a backlash from unions and pension funds across the Nordic region over its refusal to accept the demand from trade union IF Metall, whose members at Tesla workshops have been on strike since October.

"A clear majority - or 58% of Swedes - believe the union is right to take the fight with Tesla," said daily Svenska Dagbladet, which commissioned the poll. "Only 20% of those who answered believe the union's industrial action is wrong."

The dispute has sparked sympathy strikes across the Nordics - a key region for Tesla - and prompted some pension funds to sell their shares in the company.

Tesla has avoided collective bargaining agreements with its roughly 127,000 workers, and CEO Elon Musk has been vocal about his opposition to unions.

A clear majority of Swedes polled by Novus said their confidence in Tesla had faded during the conflict, SvD reported.

"The support for the Swedish model is very strong," Novus CEO Torbjorn Sjostrom told the daily.

The Swedish labour market model means employers and unions negotiate working conditions and salaries with very little involvement of the government.

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, editing by Terje Solsvik

Source: Reuters

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