Press Releases

Teamsters Celebrate Defeat of HB 135

Ky. HB135 Lobbying Day

Union Effort Protects Jobs, Passenger Safety in Commonwealth of Kentucky

Press Contact: Stephen Piercey Phone: (502) 544-5904 Email:

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Thanks to the combined efforts of Teamsters throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky, House Bill 135, which would have legalized autonomous vehicles with bare-bones oversight, was defeated in the Senate Transportation Committee meeting last week. A last-ditch effort to attach the language to an unrelated bill on the Senate floor on the final day of the session was also defeated.

“The defeat of this disastrous law is a victory not just for Teamsters, but anyone who uses Kentucky roads,” said Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman. “The Teamsters are pro-worker and pro-safety, not anti-technology. This legislation was an attack on workers, plain and simple.”

“The fact that this bill would have legalized the operation of completely autonomous semi-trucks towing thousands of pounds was a terrifying thought,” said Avral Thompson, Teamsters Local 89 President and Central Region International Vice President. “Just one wrong calculation from an autonomous semi-truck could easily result in carnage that could do hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, not to mention the potential for a tragic loss of life to other drivers on the road. Beyond the significant safety risks, autonomous vehicles pose a direct threat to the jobs of thousands of men and women across Kentucky.”

Significant groundwork by the Teamsters ensured the bill was defeated in committee, involving collaboration between Teamster locals and other unions in Kentucky. Dozens of rank-and-file union members met with legislators during the session to protest HB 135.

“This bill was defeated by a bipartisan split vote in the Senate Transportation Committee,” said Bill Miller, Local 89 Political Director. “The Teamsters thank Senators Wheeler, Turner, Smith, Berg, and Yates for supporting our members in this important vote.”

Teamsters Local 89 represents thousands of workers in a variety of crafts throughout Louisville, Ky. and the surrounding communities. For more information, go to