Nissan Motor hiking wages at US auto plants after UAW deal

FILE PHOTO: A visitor is seen at Nissan Motor Corp.'s showroom in Tokyo

By David Shepardson

(Reuters) -Nissan Motor will hike top wages for workers at U.S. manufacturing plants by 10% in January after the United Auto Workers union reached new contracts with the Detroit Three automakers, a company spokesperson said on Monday.

The Japanese automaker said the wage hike takes effect Jan. 8 for production technicians, maintenance, and tool & die technicians. Workers not yet at top scale will also receive increases in wages. About 9,000 U.S. workers in total will get pay hikes.

Nissan said it is also eliminating wage tiers for U.S. production workers. In recent weeks, Hyundai Motor, Toyota Motor and Honda Motor have all announced they would hike U.S. factory wages after the UAW contract and as the union says it will work to organize nonunion plants operated by foreign automakers and Tesla.

Nissan said the pay hikes reflect its commitment to its employees in the United States "and enhancing our competitiveness."

The UAW labor deals with General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis include a 25% increase in base wages through 2028, including an immediate 11% hike, and will cumulatively raise the top wage by 33%, compounded with estimated cost-of-living adjustments to over $42 an hour.

It also cut the number of years needed to get to top pay from eight years to three years, will boost the pay of temporary workers by 150% and make them permanent employees. The deal also includes significant retirement improvements.

The UAW for decades has unsuccessfully sought to organize auto factories operated by foreign automakers. UAW President Shawn Fain was in Washington last week for meetings on the union's organizing strategy.

President Joe Biden has backed the UAW in its quest to unionize other carmakers.

Nissan said over the last three years it has increased wages at its three manufacturing sites by 12-18.5% in total; previously cut time needed to reach top pay from eight to four years; added two paid holidays and increased paid parental leave for production workers.

(Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul and Grant McCool)