LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — As the United Auto Workers strike began at midnight, responses are coming in from some of Michigan’s top Democratic officials.

Friday afternoon, Curtis Hertel, Jr. a Democratic candidate to replace Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin in the U.S. 7th House District, released the following statement:

“I am proud to stand in solidarity with UAW and Michigan auto workers in the fight for a fair contract. I strongly support the rights of workers to collectively bargain for a livable wage, job security, health care and retirement benefits. 

The modern-day labor movement was founded in Michigan when workers banded together to fight for safer working conditions and better pay. Michigan is well poised for the auto jobs of tomorrow. But that only matters if the men and women working in those plants can afford to raise a family, share in the success, and can retire with dignity. I think it’s time for the Big Three auto companies to come to the table as good faith actors and strike a deal with their UAW workers.” 

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow released the following statement Friday morning:

“Our autoworkers are the backbone of the industry. They helped build the middle class in our country and keep our economy strong. They deserve just pay and benefits, job security, and the commitment to be treated as equal partners with our auto companies as they lead the new clean energy economy. I stand with the UAW.”

Sen. Debbie Stabenow

Michigan’s other U.S. Senator, Gary Peters, also gave his take on the strike Friday morning, announcing he “stands in solidarity” with the striking workers.

“I stand in solidarity with UAW workers as they strike to fight for a contract that gives them the wages, job security, and benefits they deserve. UAW members made huge sacrifices to help save the auto industry in 2008 and now that the Big Three are making historic profits, the workers deserve to get their fair share of the success. UAW workers are making the best cars in the world in Michigan and it’s critical they continue to be the future of the industry, especially as we transition to electric vehicles.”

Sen. Gary Peters

In July, Peters sent a letter to the CEOs of the Big Three and met with UAW members in Lansing in August to show support for their priorities.

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks from Grand Rapids released a statement around midnight showing support for the strikers:

“The Michigan Senate Democrats stand with the hardworking men and women of the UAW. They are more than just talented and dedicated workers; they are also key contributors to our state’s economic success, and as such, their pay and benefits should reflect the value they bring to their employers and our communities. They have the right to speak up together with one voice, and I support them in using that collective power.  

To those on the picket line: I have your back. When unions are strong, Michigan is strong.” 

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks