Danish Pension Funds Divest $103.8 Million in Tesla Over Labor Dispute

In a growing protest against Tesla‘s (Nasdaq: TSLA) uncompromising stance on labor cooperation in Sweden, two major Danish pension funds are divesting a combined total of US$103.8 million in Tesla shares. 

Pædagogernes Pension (PBU), the DKK 89.5 billion (US$12.94 billion) Danish pension fund for education practitioners, and the blue-collar pension fund PensionDanmark, managing DKK 317 billion (US$45.83 billion), have both confirmed their decision to exclude Tesla shares from their investment portfolios, according to IPE.

The labor dispute in Sweden between Tesla and the Swedish trade union IF Metall, which culminated in a strike on October 27, has now triggered sympathy strikes in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Danish trade union 3F announced on Monday that it plans to initiate a sympathy strike, preventing Tesla cars from being unloaded in Danish ports and transported to Sweden in two weeks.

Read: Tesla Hit By First Strikes In Company History

Sune Schackenfeldt, PBU’s CEO, emphasized the importance of freedom to join a trade union and the right to negotiate wages collectively, stating that these values are integral to Pædagogernes Pension’s commitment to the UN’s Global Compact. PBU had engaged with Tesla on employee rights as recently as March this year, but Elon Musk’s categorical statements and firm stance against the Nordic trade union movement led to the decision to divest.

PBU has a history of divesting from companies with labor rights issues, having previously exited investments in Amazon, Walmart, and Ryanair. Jan Villadsen, chair of 3F and a PensionDanmark board member, had urged PensionDanmark to divest from Tesla if the company failed to reach an agreement with its employees in Sweden.

PensionDanmark confirmed the divestment, selling a position of DKK 476 million (US$68.81 million), citing its commitment to responsible investments based on international conventions and agreements, including those of the International Labour Organisation.

The pension fund typically attempts to influence companies through active ownership, but in light of Tesla’s categorical refusal to enter into collective agreements in any country and the conflict spreading to Denmark, PensionDanmark concluded that influencing the company was unlikely at present, leading to the decision to place Tesla on its exclusion list. 

PBU has also sold off its Tesla holdings, amounting to DKK 242 million (US$35 million).

Information for this story was found via IPE, Reuters, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply