President and Officers of the Transit, Universities, Utilities and Services Division,
Well we could not have possibly been discussing a more timely topic. On May 1, the Florida legislature – influenced by UBER lobbyists and UBER money one would guess – has passed a law legalizing self-driving cars and the hiring of them through digital apps. The future is upon us sooner than expected, and if this works in Florida then one can only assume that the rate at which driverless vehicles will be deployed as taxis/buses/delivery vehicles etc., will accelerate.
As our Union fights back against this threat keep in mind the three responses that emerged from our discussions: Safety, who takes care of the passenger who is sick, who deals with the unruly characters on our buses, who helps the disabled person get safely buckled in, who calls 911, and who is there to take over if the computer fails, or makes a bad decision? Customer service, who wants a machine to do their driving for them, who wants to take the human element out of a public service, who wants to remove the teacher from the classroom, the nurse from the hospital, the cashier from the restaurant, or the waiter, the clerk from the office, or the driver from the bus? Do we want all our services delivered without people – without care? Job loss, TWU members depend on their jobs for their livelihoods, to be able to provide for their families, to insure themselves and their families, to eat, pay their rent, clothe themselves. The loss of middle class jobs will devastate communities and families, pushing more and more into economic insecurity by eliminating good-paying Union jobs.
Remember: “A Bus is Nothing Without Us” – TWU motto.