The United Automobile Workers reached an 11th-hour deal on Friday with Daimler Truck in North Carolina that gave workers 25 percent raises over the next four years and averted a strike that would have begun Saturday.

The union had said it was ready to walk out if it could not agree on a new contract covering 7,300 Daimler employees. The previous contract expired on Friday. The German company has four factories in North Carolina, where it builds Freightliner and Western Star trucks, and Thomas Built buses. The union also represents workers at parts distribution centers in Atlanta and Memphis.

The deal, which includes profit sharing, automatic cost-of-living increases and equalizes pay among workers at the North Carolina factories, marks a victory for the U.A.W. as it tries to expand its power in Southern states where unions have long been weak.

“When that deadline came closer, the company suddenly became ready to talk,” Shawn Fain, the U.A.W.’s leader, said late Friday as he announced the agreement, which will give workers raises of at least 16 percent the first year after they ratify the contract.

Daimler Trucks said in a statement that it hoped U.A.W. members would approve the tentative contracts, “for the mutual benefit of all parties.”

A walkout would have had national political repercussions. North Carolina is a political battleground state that has a Democratic governor, but President Biden narrowly lost the state in 2020. Mr. Biden had indicated that he could step in aggressively to support the Daimler workers, possibly putting him at odds with the state’s more pro-business Democrats just months before Election Day.


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