June 29, 2022
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TWU Transportation Tech Campaign Featured at AFL-CIO Convention
The TWU’s transportation technology campaign played a prominent role at the AFL-CIO’s 29th convention held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the union educated convention attendees about the benefits of life-saving, job-enhancing technologies and the dangers of unregulated, job-killing technologies through a booth, handouts, and a video.
In addition, TWU International President John Samuelsen joined a panel of union leaders to discuss the future of work and technology at the historic event, where Elizabeth Shuler was elected the first woman president and Fred Redmond the first African American secretary-treasurer of the labor federation. To watch the full discussion click here.
“Corporate America and its investors think they should decide our future for us. We think unions should shape that future,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler in introducing the panel. “Workers need to have a seat at the table where decisions are being made about technology. No one knows our industries, or the public sector and our jobs better than we do.”
“There are powerful financial forces in play right now that want to eliminate the human face out of public transit,” John Samuelsen warned convention delegates in explaining TWU’s technology campaign. “As our transit contracts expire, we work with locals on developing fight back strategies and chief among them is [technology] contract language that we need to win” but “the contract language is unattainable without a robust internal organizing program.”
Shuler showcased the AFL-CIO’s newly created Technology Institute as a hub for union collaboration on innovation and technology policy, bargaining, organizing, worker training and just transition, and innovation research and development. Union leaders from several sectors joined a “fireside” chat: Shuler, Samuelsen, UNITE HERE International President D Taylor, SAG-AFTRA Past President Gabrielle Carteris, and AFT International President Randi Weingarten.
Tesla Keeps Making Headlines for Crashes Involving Its So-Called Automated Tech
Vehicles deploying automated driving technology – most of them made by Tesla – are consistently grabbing the wrong headlines: there were nearly 400 crashes involving this technology reported by federal regulators from July 2021 through May 15 of this year.
“We applaud the Biden Administration for letting the public know what we already know: these emerging automation technologies must be carefully regulated with crash and incidence statistics readily available,” said TWU International President John Samuelsen. “Even the head of the National Transportation Safety Board is alarmed at how Tesla markets ‘full self-driving’ features to its customers. This new data will help the public learn the truth about automation and if it’s safe, especially as some companies attempt to sell their automated buses to transit systems.”
Terrifying Demonstration of Driverless Cars and Dummy Dolls Simulating 2 Year Olds
In case anyone is wondering if driverless vehicle technology is safe and ready for primetime, take a look at this experiment shown live on NBC in the San Francisco Bay Area where a dummy simulating a 2-year old child is run over. The local news reporter said this: “a jarring representation of what we don’t want to see with our self-driving technology.”
Watch: Demonstration on Future and Safety of Self-Driving Vehicles – NBC Bay Area
Google’s Waymo Launching Driverless Airport Shuttle in Phoenix
Google spinoff Waymo will offer driverless shuttles from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the nation’s ninth largest airport. Waymo already offers driverless ride-hail service in Arizona and California. Citing the “challenging, chaotic” nature of airport terminal operations, for now the shuttle will only serve the airport perimeter rail stations and downtown Phoenix.
“These kinds of pilots are designed to demonstrate that the human isn’t needed,” said TWU International President John Samuelsen. “We urge public agencies like transit systems and airports to stop letting autonomous vehicle companies run experiments on our roads, whether they serve airports or main transit commuter arteries. Passengers shouldn’t unwittingly board a driverless shuttle without knowing this technology is poorly regulated and crashes on a regular basis.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
Autonomous Car Blocks Fire Truck Responding to Emergency Wired
Ziggy Robot Saves Your Parking Spot, Charges Your EV? Electrik
Tesla Cars in Autopilot Mysteriously Stop on Roads Gizmodo
Fully Autonomous Train? EuroNews