(CTN News) – Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), has emphasized the importance of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) adhering to essential labor rights, such as collective bargaining.
Despite the backlash faced by the electric vehicle manufacturer in the Nordic region from unions and pension funds, NBIM has decided to maintain its stake in the company. However, the fund aims to exert its influence on policies over time.
NBIM, being the world’s largest stock market investor and holding a 0.88% stake worth $6.8 billion, clarified that it has no intentions of divesting its holdings, unlike some other funds.
When addressing Tesla’s conflict with its Swedish workers, NBIM stated to Reuters that they expect the companies they invest in to respect fundamental human rights, including labor rights.
Furthermore, NBIM revealed that in 2022, they supported a shareholder proposal at Tesla, urging the company to implement a policy that upholds the right to organize. This highlights the fund’s commitment to promoting fair labor practices within the companies it invests in.
NBIM’s 2022 proposal, supported by 32% of voters, urged Tesla to respect labor rights, including freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Despite this, Tesla’s board recommended voting against the proposal. The company has avoided collective bargaining agreements with its 127,000 employees, and CEO Elon Musk is openly against unions.
Tesla did not respond to requests for comment but has previously stated that its Swedish employees have favorable terms.
PensionDanmark divested its $69 million holdings in Tesla, and Paedagogernes Pension plans to do the same with its $35 million stake. NBIM’s expectations are based on international labor standards and human rights conventions.
NBIM emphasizes the importance of companies engaging with workers and their representatives transparently.
AkademikerPension will retain its investment but expects a satisfactory resolution to the conflict. AP1 and AP4 also prefer dialogue with the company rather than selling shares.
The New York State Common Retirement Fund has taken action to advocate for improvements in Tesla’s labor policies but is not considering divestment.