Wednesday, August 2, 2017

"Teamsters vs Rest of the Economy on self driving cars and trucks"

A topic of intense interest politically and economically.
Here's our introduction to 2015's "Could Automation Be Labor Unions' Death Knell?":
We've been predicting something along these lines for half-a-decade or longer, in fact going back to the 2008 California Democrat primary* where, as we've pointed out a few times, the rank-and-file Dems of  Santa Clara county went for Hillary 54.8% to Obama's 39.3. The Valley's 0.0001% however overwhelmingly financed Obama, and, since money talks, you could just see the power relationship between the two constituencies change before your eyes.

There is one interesting wrinkle to the fact Apple and Google will be putting 4 million Teamsters out of work.

The public employee unions, the only area where unions are consolidating their power, are starting to take note that in just about any area of the economy that has even the slightest relationship to government, meaning all of it, they can make the case that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees should be the bargaining agent....
We have some more links below but first, Next Big Future:
The House Energy and Commerce committee Thursday advanced legislation on a 54-0 vote that would begin the process of changing regulations to allow cars and trucks that operate without human drivers. Similar legislation is being developed in the Senate with rare bipartisan support, an effort supported by automakers such as Ford Motor Co. and Tesla Inc. as well as technology firms Alphabet Inc., Lyft Inc. and others that are developing the vehicles.

Labor unions are urging a slowdown as lawmakers fast track legislation to allow self-driving vehicles on the road, a potential boon to some union jobs and an existential threat to others.
Larry Willis, president of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Division, a coalition of 32 unions, said Congress is progressing too quickly without understanding the full effects of autonomous vehicles, which “are likely to cause massive job dislocation and impact worker safety.”

One study, by the progressive research group Center for Global Policy Solutions, estimated that a rapid transition to automated vehicles could result in more than 4 million lost jobs in the U.S., with taxi, bus, and truck drivers among the hardest-hit....MUCH MORE, including this handy table:
Some prior links:
Dec. 2014
What Uber Hath Wrought: The Coming Digital Labor Movement
The very last thing the poobahs of Sand Hill Road want to see. They overwhelmingly prefer NO unions.

During the 2008* Democratic nomination campaign we pointed out that although the self-anointed Silicon Valley aristocracy were solidly behind Senator Obama, rank-and-file Dems in Santa Clara county went for Hillary 54.8% to Obama's 39.3% in that year's primary.

The reason this gets interesting is a possible split between various constituencies.
For example the Teamsters union can't be very enthusiastic about the prospect of autonomous trucks.

The bad-apple cops responsible for repeat police brutality claims are protected in their jobs by very strong unions. Who do you go with, the protestors or the police unions?

I don't know how this all plays out but it seems easier to understand if we dispense with party labels and go with a plutocrats/peasants framework.... 
Dec. 2013
Dear Teamsters, United Auto Workers: Google Is Trying To Crush Your Unions and Your Members (GOOG)
As Chicago Prepares an App For Taxis to Compete With Uber, Giant Union AFSCME is Organizing Cab Drivers

"Otto Self-Driving Truck Company Wants to Replace Teamsters"

Uber Gears Up to Block Bid to Form a Union in Seattle
This always seemed like a bigger story than most of the media was treating it as. Now that seems to have changed.

Dec. 2015
"Seattle is first city in nation to give Uber, other contract drivers ability to unionize"
Feb. 2017
Tesla employee calls for unionization, Musk says that’s “morally outrageous”
Dear Teamsters: It Looks Like Uber Was Trying To Dig Up Dirt On The Seattle Local
Here's how the Teamsters reacted to stress in 1934, the management guy heading for terra firma  died almost instantly of a crushed occipital lobe:

And many more. Use the 'search blog' box if interested.