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UPDATE 1-Hyundai Motor, S.Korean union reach tentative wage deal without strike

strike@ (Adds background on union)

SEOUL, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor and its South Korean union reached a tentative wage deal without resorting to a strike for the first time in eight years, a union spokesman said on Wednesday.

The militant union has staged strikes in all but four years since it was created in 1987. But it has been under growing public and media criticism for walking out despite workers' relatively high wages even as the economy is slowing down.

The union took into account "the uncertain political and economic situation" stemming a U.S.-China trade dispute and South Korea's spat with Japan, it said in a statement.

"We have focused on escaping social isolation," it said.

The latest wage agreement includes payments totaling 5 million won to 9 million won, plus payments equivalent to one and a half months' salary and a basic salary increase of 40,000 won.

The deal, which was reached around midnight on Tuesday, is subject to a vote by union members on Sept. 2. (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin Editing by Bill Rigby and Sandra Maler)