Workers in the U.S. are getting record-breaking wage hikes this year thanks to strategic strikes and stunning contract wins. The result is a boost in middle-income wages and a shift in the balance of power between companies and their employees.

Even before the United Auto Workers reached historic contract deals with carmakers, unions across the country had already won their members 6.6% raises on average in 2023 — the biggest bump in more than three decades, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Law.

The recent victories mark a potential turning point for the country’s labor movement, which has seen union ranks and power dwindle for decades. Emboldened by towering corporate profits, UPS drivers, Hollywood writers, autoworkers and others made ambitious demands many considered unattainable. Using new tactics — and taking advantage of a tight labor market and shifting views on organized labor — one-by-one, they won big.