Tesla raises wages for U.S. production workers as UAW drive looms

(Credit: cosmicxbird/Instagram)

Tesla has increased wages at its U.S. production plants to begin the year, joining other non-unionized automakers following a successful set of strikes against the “Big Three” from the country’s largest automotive union.

After the United Automotive Workers (UAW) union successfully garnered wage increases at Ford, General Motors (GM) and Dodge-Chrysler parent company Stellantis through historic, six-week strikes in the fall, automakers Hyundai, Honda and Toyota went on to boost pay at their non-unionized U.S. factories in November. Later in the month, the UAW officially announced a union drive at 13 automakers with U.S. facilities, including Tesla, Hyundai, Honda and Toyota.

Now, Tesla has raised wages for workers at its U.S. factories, including production employees, material handlers, and quality inspectors, according to a flyer posted at the company’s factory in Fremont, California, which was seen by Bloomberg. The document didn’t show how much wages were increased, though Tesla wrote on the flyer that the workers were receiving a “market adjustment pay increase.”

Just as many speculated about union efforts after Hyundai, Honda and Toyota increased pay at their factories, Tesla’s latest wage hikes were spotted by UAW President Shawn Fain, who compared it to recent pay boosts at other non-unionized automakers.

“Tesla is now following in the footsteps of Toyota, Hyundai, Volkswagen, and almost every other car company in raising wages in the wake of our historic victory,” Fain said in a statement on Thursday.

He also added that the wage increases “fall far short of what the companies can afford and what autoworkers are worth,” though he didn’t share additional specifics about how much the pay bumps were for. Fain also said that, following the historic six-week strikes against the Big Three that led to contract-bound pay increases, he believes the UAW “can beat anybody.”

As of writing, Tesla has not responded to Teslarati‘s requests for comment.

Tesla is allowed to ban union shirts on production line, says appeals court

In October, Fain said that the UAW would be targeting the “Big Five or Big Six” in the next round of contract negotiations in 2028, highlighting hopes to unionize Tesla, Volkswagen, and other automakers with U.S. facilities that do not have union contracts in place for their employees. In a prior statement, he said that workers at Toyota, Tesla and others that were not represented by the union were not enemies, but rather were “union members of the future.”

Many have argued that Tesla’s workers in the U.S. are not interested in joining a union, since the Tesla shares they receive as a benefit are considered to be worth more than the pay increases or safety improvements that could be garnered by a union. CEO Elon Musk has also been outspoken about unions for many years, calling them corrupt and not worthwhile compared to Tesla’s employee share program. In 2022, he also invited the UAW to hold a union vote at its Fremont factory, suggesting that Tesla workers themselves wouldn’t be interested in unionizing.

What are your thoughts? Let me know at, find me on X at @zacharyvisconti, or send your tips to us at

Tesla raises wages for U.S. production workers as UAW drive looms
To Top