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Michigan lawmakers largely support UAW workers on strike

Lawmakers from Michigan are voicing their support for the thousands of United Auto Workers union members striking.

LANSING, Mich — Around 13,000 U.S. auto workers hit the picket lines Friday after union negotiations with Detroit's three automakers failed to reach an agreement on new contracts.

It was the first time in the United Auto Workers (UAW) union's history that it walked out on all of the major Detroit automakers at the same time after four-year contracts expired at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

Michigan lawmakers at the state and national level have issued statements largely supporting the UAW workers. Others have taken a stance that the UAW's rift with automakers is being caused by the Biden Administration's push toward electric vehicles.

Below are the statements that have been issued since the strike began Friday:

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-Michigan)

“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.”

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan)

“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.”

Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids)

“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.”

Speaker of the House Joe Tate (D-Detroit)

“Workers are the backbone of the American auto industry, and organized labor is a part of our state’s enduring legacy. Decades of hard work and leadership by unions forged a path to help ensure safe workplaces, competitive wages, and the ability to raise and support a family. They helped make the American dream a reality for generations of Michiganders.

“Michigan’s economy benefits when workers and industry negotiate together, in good faith, to reach consensus. Support for Michigan workers is a top priority for House Democrats, and our legislative accomplishments and agenda are a reflection of our commitment to help build a strong workforce and a thriving economy. 

“I encourage a swift resolution to this impasse that delivers a fair contract to the UAW and maintains a competitive edge for the Big Three. The auto industry is Michigan’s legacy and its future, and there is surely a path forward that ensures our workers and our economy can continue to thrive.”

State Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac)

“Listen, workers wages have remained stagnant despite record breaking corporate profits — this is what we hear time and again from every corner of our state and across the country.  Michigan is on the verge of becoming the lifeblood of the movement to go clean and produce more electric vehicles. And the workers who are on strike today deserve an opportunity to earn a better living tomorrow as the auto industry pivots toward the future.” 

State Rep. Joey Andrews (D-St. Joseph)

“Michigan is the home of the modern American labor movement, and this action is showing the world that we are the home of its future. Autoworkers at plants in Michigan and across the nation helped create unprecedented profits, and their demand to share in that success is thoroughly warranted. My great grandfather was a proud UAW member and part of his local's bargaining unit. My family and so many others stand in solidarity because we know the value of a strong union like the UAW fighting for its members. I will always stand in solidarity with workers as they fight for the pay and benefits they deserve.”

State Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Midland)

"Unfortunately, President Biden’s unworkable policies on electric vehicles have pushed automakers and autoworkers into a corner, requiring them to follow burdensome EPA rules and forcing the entire auto supply chain to become more dependent on the Chinese Communist Party. This strike will have harmful effects on Michigan’s economy and families, and it is being caused by the policies of this out-of-touch administration. President Biden should reverse the EPA rules and let American manufacturers and workers innovate freely in the years ahead."


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