Joint Council 7 Leading the Charge for Workers’ Rights and Public Safety this Summer

Joint Council 7 is firing on all cylinders, as our 19 powerful Locals continue to unite and build our power to protect and expand the rights of working people in Northern California and Northern Nevada. 

Joint Council 7 continues to lead the way in our fight to save our jobs and safe roads from dangerous driverless vehicles.  Our priority bill, AB 316, will require every autonomous truck over 10,000 pounds operating on California roads to have a licensed professional driver on board to ensure safety.  The bill has broad bipartisan support in the legislature and among the public, and continues to pick up momentum on its way to the Governor’s desk.  It passed out of the Assembly on an overwhelming bipartisan vote, and now heads to the Senate Transportation Committee, where our members will be pushing Senators hard to support.    

We are gearing up a powerful campaign to make sure that when AB 316 reaches Governor Newsom’s desk, that he does the right thing.  We will make sure the Governor hears loud and clear that the Teamsters Union and the public demand that he stand with working families and the safety of all Californians, rather than the greedy tech companies behind these driverless trucks, and that he signs the bill into law.

Joint Council 7 is leading the fight against driverless cars, which just like driverless trucks, pose a threat to our jobs and safety.  In San Francisco, driverless taxis run by greedy corporations Google and General Motors (operated under the names Cruise and Waymo) have been wreaking havoc in the City.  Operating in “test” mode, these robot cars have blocked emergency vehicles, caused numerous accidents and traffic jams, and even run over and killed several pets. 

In total disregard for the safety of the community, these corporations now want to start operating these dangerous vehicles to transport paying customers.  Worse, they ultimately intend to use them to deliver parcels, which would threaten thousands of Teamster jobs at UPS and elsewhere. 

Joint Council 7 and our five San Francisco Teamster Locals have led the fight at the City and State level to stop these dangerous cars from operating on our streets, and from being approved to deliver parcels. In May, we won a zoning appeal victory that effectively stopped the expansion of Waymo autonomous cars in the City, by a 10-0 vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, supporting the union’s protest that the Company had not been forthright in its application to alter the use of a large distribution center in the city’s industrial area.

We chalked up a big legislative win in Nevada, where our sponsored bill AB 214 was signed into law by Governor Joe Lombardo.  The new law strengthens safety measures for transit workers by expanding the state’s public transit agency advisory board with two labor representatives.  In addition, this expansion ensures that the workers have a seat at the table when it comes to addressing worker issues that may arise.  Congratulations to Local 533 for the great work in sponsoring and passing the bill and helping empower the voice of Teamster transit workers in Northern Nevada. 

Joint Council 7 continues to take on anti-Union behemoth Amazon, which represents an existential threat to good Teamster jobs in every industry.  As we reported in previous issues, we have successfully stopped the construction of a dozen Amazon projects around Northern California.  Last month, together with community allies, we helped stop another project, in El Dorado Hills, California, which the Company abandoned in the face of community and labor uproar.  

In San Francisco, we continue to push City government to pass legislation to ensure that if Amazon or any other corporation wants to come in and build new distribution centers, they must bring good jobs and improve our communities, not hurt them—or they’re not coming!  Our Locals around the Joint Council have been sponsoring volunteer organizers as we continue our efforts to win Teamster representation for Amazon workers.  

And we proudly support the courageous Amazon drivers of Palmdale, California, as they strike for fair treatment and a Teamster Contract, including standing with them when they extend their picket lines into our jurisdiction. 

We are gearing up, along with the whole International Brotherhood of Teamsters, for a historic battle to win a fair contract for 350,000 Teamsters at United Parcel Service.  Our members overwhelmingly authorized a strike, and we are showing the Company every day that UPS Teamsters are ready to do whatever it takes to win the strong Contract that we deserve.  

Joint Council 7 held a successful 10th Annual Conference in June, as leaders and activists from all 19 Locals came together for two days of learning and strategizing on building our Union and winning and enforcing strong contracts for our members.  

Together, the 19 powerful Locals of Joint Council 7 continue to do great things as we build power and win the best wages and benefits for our 100,000 members, and all working people! 

Jason Rabinowitz, President