Toyota, Honda and Hyundai raise wages after union wins with Ford, GM and Stellantis strikes.
Former Speaker McCarthy “elbows” TN lawmaker in back ahead of budget vote.
Toyota, Honda and Hyundai raise wages after UAW gains with Ford, GM and Stellantis
United Auto Workers, the union representing 146,000 autoworkers at the Ford, GM and Stellantis , recently achieved a record tentative agreement with the automakers that will see wages rise significantly for all workers, and especially temp workers, over the next four years. UAW President Shawn Fain has said that the union’s aggressive bargaining and strike tactics against the Detroit Three has enticed workers from many non-union auto companies to reach out to UAW in hopes of forming a union in their workplaces.
Now foreign automakers Toyota, Hyundai and Honda have decided to raise their workers’ wages in hopes of fending off a push by UAW to unionize their non-union facilities in the US. These automakers’ plants are predominately located in the South where state policymakers and even many workers have long been hostile to unionizing.
Toyota has announced it will be raising wages by more than 9% next year, while Honda announced an 11% wage hike. Hyundai said it will give workers in its Alabama and Georgia facilities a 25% raise over the next four years. Hyundai’s percentages are closest to the increase achieved by the UAW for workers at the Detroit Three.
Some UAW workers voting on ratification still want more from the contract
Before the new tentative agreements can come into effect, Ford, GM and Stellantis workers must vote to ratify the contract. Those votes are ongoing and will continue over the next several days at the local level. So far, Ford workers have voted 69.5% in favor with 34.1% voting against; GM workers are at 52.1% in favor with 47.9% against; and Stellantis workers have voted 81.1% in favor with 18.9% voting against. (Spreadsheets in links will update).
While workers acknowledge that the new agreement offers wage and benefit increases not seen in over 20 years (plus the return of cost-of-living adjustments that were lost in 2008), a sizeable minority were clearly hoping for more. In UAW’s online forums, many workers have expressed disappointment that they did not get back direct benefit pensions and retirement healthcare for post-2007 hires. Others have said they do not trust the automakers to hold up their end of the bargain. This is especially true for temp workers (many of whom have been on temp status for years) who are skeptical that the automakers will convert them to full-time status as promised.
In recent addresses since the tentative agreements were announced, UAW President Fain has said that the wins in this contract are only the beginning. Fain hopes to organize more automakers between now and the end of the contract in 2028. He also has called on other major unions to align their contract expiry dates with the UAW so that they can call a major walkout on May 1, 2028, which is celebrated in most of the world as International Workers’ Day. These long-term strategies, if they come to fruition, will give UAW and other unions much more leverage when bargaining their next contracts.
Former Speaker McCarthy “elbows” TN lawmaker in back ahead of budget vote
With hours to go before the House is due to vote on a bill to avert a possible government shutdown, a scene played out on Capitol Hill this morning that was more appropriate for an elementary schoolyard. According to NPR reporter Claudia Grisalis, she was interviewing Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) in a hallway at the Capitol following a caucus meeting. As they were speaking, Grisalis says that recently-ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) walked behind Burchett’s back and gave him a hard “shove”. ” Burchett lunged towards me. I thought it was a joke, it was not. And a chase ensued…” Grisalis wrote on Twitter.
Burchett responded jokingly as McCarthy kept walking, “Sorry Kevin didn’t mean to elbow –” then seriously yelled, “why’d you elbow me in the back Kevin?! Hey Kevin, you got any guts!?”
Burchett then looked back at me and said, “jerk” referring to McCarthy. I asked if he had done that before, Burchett said “no.”
That’s when the chase ensued. Burchett took off after McCarthy and his detail. I chased behind with my mic.
Burchett then caught up to McCarthy and demanded once again to know why McCarthy had shoved him. McCarthy responded, “I didn’t elbow you in the back”.
“You got no guts, you did so, …the reporter said it right there,” Burchett retorted. “What kind of chicken move is that? You’re pathetic man, you are so pathetic.”
Burchett explained to Grisalis that this encounter was the first “communication” between himself and McCarthy since Burchett joined several other hardline conservatives to remove McCarthy as Speaker on October 3.