Union Urges Council to Pass Proposal Unanimously
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(LOS ANGELES) – The Teamsters are applauding Los Angeles City Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez for introducing a motion yesterday that urges the State of California to address public safety concerns surrounding autonomous vehicles and to regulate the expansion of robotaxis in the city.
“It is critical that the city council prioritize public safety ahead of the interests of big tech companies seeking to use public roadways as testing grounds for unsafe technology. The Teamsters are grateful to Councilmember Soto-Martinez for introducing this important motion to demand serious oversight of autonomous vehicles in Los Angeles,” said Chris Griswold, Teamsters International Vice President At-Large and President of Teamsters Joint Council 42. “Autonomous vehicles have proven that they are not ready for primetime, and we simply cannot afford to have this unsafe technology on our streets jeopardizing public safety. We urge the Los Angeles City Council to pass this motion without delay.”
The motion calls attention to the fact that public officials and California residents have legitimate concerns about the ongoing safety problems associated with the hasty introduction of robotaxis, such as Waymo, on public roadways. The recent expansion of Waymo in Los Angeles has been met with both apprehension and outrage. On Wednesday, the Teamsters and other community groups protested outside the headquarters of Google, the parent company of Waymo, to highlight ongoing safety concerns associated with robotaxis.
“These machines won’t just put millions of good-paying, union jobs at risk – they pose a serious threat to pedestrian safety,” said Soto-Martinez. “We need actual regulations on robotaxis, and we should not be putting lives at risk by allowing our city to be a test subject for the tech industry.”
The motion also urges the Los Angeles City Attorney to support a re-hearing of the California Public Utilities Commission’s recent decision to permit the expansion of robotaxis in San Francisco. Waymo’s primary competitior, Cruise, had its license to operate in the state suspended after it lied during an investigation by the California Dept. of Motor Vehicles about an incident where one of its robotaxis dragged a woman for 20 feet.
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. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at Facebook.com/teamsters.