TEAMSTERS CONDEMN CRUISE CEO FOR PLAN TO ELIMINATE HUMAN OPERATOR JOBS
Vogt: Company Has ‘Capacity to Absorb Several Thousand Per City at a Minimum’
(SAN FRANCISCO) — 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.
“There are over 10,000 human rideshare drivers in San Francisco, those drivers of course aren’t working 24 hours a day like a robotaxi could,” Vogt said. “It doesn’t take a very high number to generate significant revenue in a city like San Francisco, but certainly there is the capacity to absorb several thousand per city at a minimum.”
“Vogt’s despicable comments confirm that these greedy tech companies care only about their profits and have zero concern for human beings — our jobs, our safety, or our communities,” said Jason Rabinowitz, President of Teamsters Joint Council 7. “At no point during that call did Vogt offer any explanation about what will happen to the thousands of professional drivers he hopes to displace, their families and our economy — because they just don’t care. That’s why our state legislature and regulators must step in and protect our jobs and safety from the rush to deploy these dangerous driverless vehicles.”
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has a hearing on August 10 where it could change regulations to allow for unlimited AV use in San Francisco. Commissioner John Reynolds, who is expected to vote on the proposal, was Managing Counsel for Cruise prior to his appointment.
“It’s clear that the elephant in the room during that conversation was the CPUC,” said Chris Griswold, President of Teamsters Joint Council 42. “These companies need to pump the brakes. AVs aren’t anywhere near safe enough to be operating without a human behind the wheel. The CPUC needs to remember that it works for all Californians — not just Big Tech — when it decides on AVs next week.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit Teamster.org for more information.