In a recent report by Breaking Points, Krystal and Saagar were joined by Teamsters President Sean O’Brien for a discussion on a range of pressing issues including labor organizing, autonomous vehicles, and international solidarity. Here’s the full story.

The Conversation

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The interview kicked off with Sean O’Brien, a Teamsters representative, celebrating a hard-won victory. He compared the positive outcome of their recent contract negotiations with Anheuser-Busch with the ongoing struggle against Molson Coors.

The Purpose of the Strike

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O’Brien made it clear that the Teamsters aren’t settling for anything less than industry-leading standards across the board. That commitment is on full display in the ongoing strike against Molson Coors, now dragging into its 40th day.

The Issue of Self-Driving Cars

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The discussion then shifted to the contentious issue of self-driving cars, particularly in light of the split between California Governor Gavin Newsom and labor unions. O’Brien criticized Newsom for prioritizing the interests of big tech companies over worker safety and job security.

They Are Less Safe

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He argued that autonomous vehicles pose significant public safety risks and explained the importance of human operators in responding to potential hazards on the road. O’Brien pledged to continue the fight against autonomous commercial vehicles both at the state and federal levels, highlighting the Teamsters’ successful track record in collective bargaining to limit the implementation of such technology.

The Labor Movement

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Addressing the broader landscape of labor organizing, O’Brien expressed optimism about the current momentum and energy within the labor movement. He shared that big wins like better contracts for UPS workers and unionization drives at Amazon are giving everyone a shot in the arm.

Hold Corporations Accountable

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O’Brien believes that by working together, workers can hold corporations accountable and get a fairer share. He shared that social media was also playing a key role by giving workers a platform to speak up and showing them that they’re not alone in this fight.

Fighting for Workers’ Rights

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O’Brien then fielded questions about unions and international solidarity. He didn’t shy away from it – the Teamsters, he declared, are all about fighting for workers’ rights, no matter where they are in the world.

The Tricky Situation

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He added that although international conflicts make things tricky, the main focus was championing the needs of union members and taking on corporate greed head-on.

Workers First, Always

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Wrapping up the conversation, O’Brien hammered home a key point: workers first, always. He wants a stronger, more welcoming labor movement, built on organizing and collective action. It’s the only way, he says, to level the playing field between working folks and giant corporations.

Share Your Thoughts

Share Your Thoughts 1
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So what do you think? What role do you believe unions should play in addressing global issues such as international conflicts and humanitarian crises? How can unions effectively balance their commitment to representing workers’ interests with broader considerations of international solidarity and social justice?