The Teamsters are condemning Kyle Vogt, CEO of autonomous vehicle (AV) company Cruise, for openly planning to displace drivers during an investor call last week. Vogt made the statement in response to a question from an analyst at an investment banking firm. The analyst asked about Cruise’s plans for expansion should a proposed policy change favoring the AV industry take effect in San Francisco.Keep reading
Teamwork makes the dream work. AB 316, which would require a licensed operator in any automated vehicle over 10,000 lbs, has shown the best in all of us in Joint Council 7. Your hard work shined bright during the Assembly floor vote, where Assembly Members voted overwhelmingly in favor of AB 316 in a 69-4 bipartisan vote.Keep reading
Drivers testified to the DMV at a January 27 hearing about their on-the-road concerns about the introduction of Autonomous Trucks without human drivers. Powerful stuff. This is not only about safety on the road for Teamster drivers and the driving public, it’s also about the future of good driving jobs in this country. Thanks to Assembly Member Cecilia Curry-Aguiar and Tom Lackey for introducing AB316; this bill will ensure that all vehicles over 10,000 pounds have a human operator.… Read more »Keep reading
After 17 years with Joint Council 7, this is my last column as your political director. It has been an immense honor to work with our union.
Starting as an organizer
I was first hired into the Teamsters in 2006. Under the direction of our then Joint Council President, I ran the organizing campaign with misclassified truck drivers at the Port of Oakland. At the campaign’s peak, we put 5,000 people on the streets of downtown Oakland.Keep reading
Every year, local, state, and federal government agencies give out billions of dollars to corporations through procurement contracts, tax credits, subsidies, grants, and more. These are our tax dollars “at work.” This raises two questions: does it work for us? And if not, what can we do?
Sadly, the answer to the first question is “not enough.” However, the answer to the second question is “we can do a lot.”
For decades,Keep reading
There is an old adage under the state’s capitol dome that nothing big happens in the Legislature during an election year. It appears that bit of wisdom no longer holds true, as we saw groundbreaking deal after groundbreaking deal take shape this summer culminating in potentially huge policy shifts sent to the Governor’s desk. Some of these include healthcare malpractice reform, new recycling requirements on single-use packaging, ambitious climate change and clean energy rules, measures to address mental health and addiction for the homeless,Keep reading
This is my 16th year as a Teamster. I was hired as political director in 2010 right after the merger of Joint Councils 7 and 38. That merger united more than 100,000 Teamsters from Bakersfield to the Oregon border and Reno under one tent. Overnight, we became one of the largest Joint Councils in the Teamsters. In fact, our Council is larger than 41 states.
I was hired to build political power so we can organize new workers into the Teamsters and negotiate the best wages and working conditions for our members.Keep reading
Last September, Joint Council 7 launched our campaign challenging Amazon’s rapid expansion plans in the Bay Area. In particular, we set our sights on the company’s plans to build a giant distribution center in San Francisco on property purchased from one of Teamster Local 350’s largest employers, Recology. This project directly threatened 1,400 Teamster Local 2785 members at UPS.
Our campaign won on March 22 when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed legislation imposing interim zoning controls on that project and on all parcel delivery stations in San Francisco for the next 18 months.Keep reading
The 2022 legislative session has kicked off and our union is moving an aggressive agenda to improve the lives of our members and their families. We have eight sponsored or co-sponsored bills which are summarized below. However, before I get into those, it’s important to mention a big victory that happened earlier this year.
We have worked very hard since the beginning of the pandemic to push for policies that protect workers from unnecessary exposure and to reduce negative economic consequences when workers need to protect themselves.Keep reading
Hello from Sacramento! We are about to embark on the 2022 Legislative session and there are many issues on the horizon that will potentially impact our union. Electoral redistricting, ballot initiatives, big policy proposals, and more will all be a part of the 2022 landscape. However, before I get into those things, I would like to highlight some of our victories in 2021.
We co-sponsored a number of bills last year and three were signed into law by Governor Newsom.Keep reading