Hyundai joins Honda and Toyota in raising wages

South Korean automaker Hyundai has joined Honda and Toyota in raising factory worker wages after the United Auto Workers union reached new contract agreements with Detroit automakers.

Hyundai said Monday it will raise factory worker pay 25 per cent by 2028, matching the general wage increase won by the UAW during that period. Toyota raised factory pay 9 per cent to 10 per cent starting in January, while Honda said it will increase wages 11 per cent during the same period.

Experts say the increases at least in part are aimed at thwarting UAW President Shawn Fain’s strategy of trying to organize US auto plants run by foreign automakers and Tesla in order to increase the union’s bargaining power. Fain said terrified auto executives at nonunion plants are raising wages, and he called Toyota’s pay increase the UAW bump.

“UAW, that stands for `You Are Welcome,”’ he said.

About 146,000 UAW members are voting on new contracts with General Motors, Ford and Jeep maker Stellantis that give them 25 per cent general wage increases over the next four years and eight months. When cost of living wages are factored in, workers will get about 33 per cent raises, with the top assembly line employee making about $42 per hour.