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United Auto Workers Reach Tentative Deal with Big Three

After a six-week strike, the United Auto Workers (UAW) reached a possible deal with General Motors, Ford Motor, and Stellantis (parent company of Ram, Chrysler, and Jeep). UAW workers will receive a 25% pay increase over the next four and a half years, and the deal includes a cost-of-living adjustment to ensure inflation does not wipe out these wage gains. For Ford workers, the starting wage goes up by 68%, and the top hourly wage will eventually rise from $32 per hour to more than $42 per hour. To go into effect, a majority of union workers must approve the deals at each car manufacturer. The union has suspended its strike.

The UAW head, Shawn Fain, announced that he plans to organize workers at Tesla's car and battery plants and foreign manufacturers like Toyota, Honda, and BMW. Historically, the union has not been able to organize workers at automotive plants in the South. Some experts believe the deal's higher costs for car makers will make it harder for them to compete with companies like Tesla and Toyota.

Presumably to head off that attempt to organize, Toyota announced wage hikes for its workers. The company’s hourly workers will receive a 9% pay hike starting in January for a top wage of $34.80 per hour. Toyota will also cut the time needed for U.S. workers to reach the top level of play to four years, down from eight years, and increase paid time off. A company statement said it values employees and their contributions and decided to raise wages to ensure it remains competitive within the industry. The UAW did not comment on Toyota's decision to increase wages.