South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai is the latest automaker to agree to raise factory wages for workers after the United Auto Workers (UAW) union struck new contract deals with Detroit automakers.
According to an Associated Press report on Monday, Hyundai said it will raise factory worker pay 25% by 2028, matching the general wage increase won by the UAW during that period. In comparison, Toyota raised its factory pay from “9% to 10% starting in January”, while Honda said that it will increase wages “11%” during that same period.
These wage increases are viewed by labor analysts as an attempt by nonunion factories like Hyundai to keep workers from unionizing or otherwise leaving and finding employment at unionized factories.
On the union side, around 146,000 UAW members are currently voting on new contracts with General Motors, Ford and Stellantis that give them an overall 33% wage increase over the next five years, factoring in the cost of living. A top assembly line employee at any one of those factories could earn as much as $42 per hour, according to the AP.
“Hyundai continuously strives to maintain competitive wages and benefits commensurate to industry peers,” Jose Muñoz, Hyundai’s chief operating officer, said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Factory pay can vary from plant to plant, however, and those who will work at the nearby electric vehicle metaplant in Ellabell will have to wait and see if the wage increases annouced in Detroit will filter down to Bryan County.