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Tesla charging stations in Sweden. The electric carmaker's business in the country has been disrupted by a wave of sympathy strikes by workers supporting Tesla's local mechanics.
London CNN  — 

Elon Musk has notched a victory against Swedish workers as a court ruled that Tesla can collect license plates for its cars from the country’s transport authority after postal workers refused to deliver them.

In an interim judgement Monday seen by CNN, the district court in the city of Norrköping ruled that Sweden’s Transport Agency must agree within seven days that Tesla (TSLA) can collect registration plates for its vehicles or risk a fine of 1 million Swedish crowns ($96,000).

According to Reuters, Tesla sued the agency because it had refused to deliver the plates by other means, saying it was contractually bound to use PostNord, the postal service part-owned by the government. Postal workers stopped delivering them to the company last week in sympathy with Tesla’s mechanics who began an ongoing strike in late October.

Musk called the postal workers’ actions “insane” in a post on X last week.

The Transport Agency said it was considering whether to appeal the court’s ruling. “But we have still started looking at how we could make it practically possible for Tesla to pick up the plates,” it added in a statement, noting that the seven-day deadline left “very little time.”

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment on the ruling.

The court’s decision delivers a blow to efforts by Swedish workers from a range of sectors to pressure Tesla into recognizing a labor union representing local mechanics who service the company’s cars.

About 130 mechanics began their strike in October after their employer, a Tesla subsidiary in Sweden, announced that it would not recognize their union, according to Expressen, a CNN affiliate.

The industrial action soon spread to dockworkers, who started blocking deliveries of Tesla cars at the country’s ports, electricians who stopped maintenance work for the carmaker, and other workers in Sweden, Expressen reported.

“This is about good wages, good pensions and good insurance for all our members who work at Tesla,” Sweden’s IF Metall union, which called the original strike, said on its website.

“We have been negotiating with Tesla for a long time. They have refused to sign a collective (bargaining) agreement and violate basic principles in the Swedish labor market.”

The country’s workforce is heavily unionized, with around nine out of 10 workers covered by collective agreements, which regulate wages and other terms of employment.

A company without a collective bargaining agreement “can pay as low wages as it likes” because Sweden does not have a statutory minimum wage, according to the Swedish Trade Union Confederation.

“Swedish wages and working conditions should apply to all workers in Sweden,” the body said in a statement on its website earlier this month. “In Sweden, we should not have American conditions. A company that comes to Sweden must adapt to what applies here.”

Musk, the world’s richest man, has been vocal about his opposition to unions.

The National Labor Relations Board, a US federal agency, has repeatedly called out Tesla and Musk for illegal or improper anti-union activities, such as interrogating employees, and disciplining or otherwise discriminating against workers because they support unions.

German unions have also pressured the company to implement a collective bargaining agreement for its 11,000 workers at a Tesla factory near Berlin, according to Reuters.

IG Metall, a powerful German union, says Tesla pays its workers less than other carmakers in Germany and gets rid of employees who are sick too often. More than 1,000 workers at the factory joined the union during a day of protest last month.

— Olesya Dmitracova contributed to this article.