"If a company does not comply with our policies, we initially attempt to influence the company through active ownership — directly and coordinated with other shareholders. This has been the case with Tesla as well."
If pension fund executives determine that they cannot impact the company, it looks to sell shares and exclude the company from the investment universe.
"In the light of the conflict spreading to Denmark and Tesla's latest and very categorical denial to reach collective agreements in any country, we have reached the conclusion, that we as investors for the time being are unlikely to influence the company. And therefore, we are placing Tesla on our exclusion list," the statement said.
Tesla was absent from the pension fund's list of equity holdings as of Dec. 6. The $44 billion pension fund sold its 476 million Danish kroner ($70 million) holding in Tesla on Dec. 6, a spokesperson said.
The move relates to ongoing labor disputes in the Nordics with Tesla, starting in Sweden, Bloomberg reported. Employees at seven Tesla repair shops in Sweden were called to strike over unfair working conditions in October, and, since then, the dispute has spread to Denmark and Norway. Unions in those countries have warned they will block shipments of Tesla cars, while a Finnish union will meet on Dec. 7 to decide how to respond to Swedish unions asking Nordic peers to join, Bloomberg said.
In May, investors including PensionDanmark called on Tesla's board to improve corporate governance and control CEO Elon Musk, or risk their seats. A letter signed by 17 investors expressed concern that the board of directors "is failing to adequately represent the interests of Tesla's shareholders."
Spokespeople for Tesla could not immediately be reached for comment.
A number of large corporations are pulling advertising from Musk's social media platform X after the owner endorsed an antisemitic post. Musk said it was the "worst and dumbest I've ever done" at the New York Times DealBook conference earlier this month, according to Bloomberg.