Teamsters Chief Fears U.S. Self-Driving Trucks May be Unsafe, Hit Jobs
The head of the 1.4-million member International Brotherhood of Teamsters union is mounting an aggressive effort to convince Congress to reject new rules to speed the deployment of self-driving trucks, warning they could lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and reduce road safety.
James P. Hoffa, who has headed the union since 1999, said on Tuesday that Congress could help major trucking companies ultimately get rid of drivers by automating vehicles, which would also pose serious risks to American drivers.
“I‘m concerned about highway safety. I am concerned about jobs,” Hoffa said in an interview at Teamsters headquarters. “I am concerned we are moving too fast in a very, very strategic area that we have to make sure we are doing it right because lives are involved.”
Hoffa’s worries come as technology industry executives and policy makers grapple with the possible impact of artificial intelligence and robotics on jobs and the economy, potentially putting millions of people out of work.