Newsom Vetoes the AB 316 Ban on Driverless Trucks, Sticking It to the Labor Leaders He Used to Embrace

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Big Labor in California is Big Mad. Governor Gavin Newsom's message to them in Friday's veto of AB 316 is that he's just not that into them. Don't they know he's trying to run for president?! 


AB 316 is a bill that would have banned driverless trucks in the state, claiming it would take away good union jobs. Many states, like Alabama, have enacted legislation allowing the use of such vehicles as long as an actual human has a remote control, but the home of Silicon Valley seems to despise innovation, and Big Labor does its best to kill it in any form. However, Newsom is working hard to spruce up his national profile as his red state flops attest that he is seen as a flaming progressive industry killer, who is hated outside of the coastal bastions. 

Fifty-four electoral votes notwithstanding, you cannot win a presidential race with one state, and Newsom desperately wants to be president. His shocking veto of AB 957, the supposed gender-affirming care bill that would have penalized parents or guardians who refused to affirm their child's gender choice, clearly indicates this. Now with this veto of AB 316, it shows he means business in a country where 27 states have right-to-work laws and whose legislative bodies are not under Big Labor's thumb. But it's a significant blow to the bought and paid for California Legislature and their Teamster cohorts. 

Then there is the Unionista herself, California Labor Federation (CalLabor) head Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher. Queen Teamster was definitely the hardest hit as she has made her bones as a former Assembly member and as a union activist (but I repeat myself), and this veto is a huge embarrassment on her powers to persuade. 


Of course, if you look at the architect of the horrific AB5 and its history, it's less about persuasion and more about trickery and strongarm tactics. This reflects another nail in the coffin of career setbacks for her and her disgraced husband, former San Diego Board of Supervisors Nathan Fletcher. Does anyone remember that Gonzalez Fletcher thought she was going to be California's next Secretary of State? Newsom helped kill that dream, too.

On Tuesday, the Teamsters caravan rolled into Sacramento to demand Newsom sign the bill. Gonzalez Fletcher was her usual brass knuckles and bull, as she shared this post on X.

Gonzalez Fletcher proudly spoke at this rally, offering up F-bombs along with her bombast.


On Friday, she was reduced to issuing this limited, sad statement.

Driverless Trucks are dangerous and don't belong on California's roads or highways. Removing drivers will cost an upwards of a quarter million working Californians their jobs and livelihoods. The veto of this bi-partisan, common sense bill is shocking.

We will not sit by as bureaucrats side with tech companies, trading our safety and jobs for increased corporate profits. We will continue to fight to make sure that robots do not replace human drivers and that technology is not used to destroy good jobs.

Well, my dear, you and your ilk helped to take care of that yourselves with AB5 and demanding a minimum wage hike. Businesses either folded (a loss of jobs) or automated (more loss of jobs). Kiosks and robots are becoming the new normal in fast food restaurants, and you can thank this woman's work in the California Legislature and Big Labor for this.

We stand with the Teamsters and will bring this issue back to protect workers in every industry from threats from artificial intelligence and automation.


Sure, Jan. Gone is the woman who stood on the Assembly floor and held up a "UNION" sign proclaiming that Unions are who ran that so-called legislative body. At that time, she wasn't wrong. These days, Gonzalez Fletcher has about as much juice as a seven-day-old lime.


Sadly, we will never be fully rid of these labor unions, but gone is their power to enact immediate change in the way Americans choose to work or blunt our power to fight their tactics. And if Newsom is any indication, we may see the day when they no longer hold sway over national candidacies. Thanks to Janus v. AFSCME and organizations like The National Right to Work Foundation, that fight union overreach on the legal front, their membership, and subsequently their power, has been severely diminished. This is why they need the Biden administration to keep a de facto Secretary of Labor installed to do their bidding on the PRO Act, and why nobody cares that the SAG-AFTRA strike is reaching its 100-day mark without any resolution. We'll see what happens with the United Auto Workers (UAW), but it doesn't bode well for that once-powerful union either. 

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation issued a special legal notice to the thousands of automotive workers whom UAW thinks are under their control. 

The Foundation’s legal notice informs autoworkers of their rights, including their right to rebuff the strike order and to keep working to support their families as the strike is ongoing. The notice reminds workers that UAW union officials have no disciplinary power over workers who are not union members, and advises employees who wish to work during a strike to resign their memberships at least one day before returning to work.

“Rank-and-file workers have good reason to wonder if Shawn Fain’s combative stance and apparent eagerness to initiate a strike is really what is best for them, their careers, and their families, or rather is yet another example of UAW bosses looking out for themselves and their personal ambitions to the detriment of those they claim to represent,” commented Foundation President Mark Mix.


It will be interesting to see if any of these workers choose to break the picket lines. If so, it will be yet another sign that the future is waving at Big Labor and shills like Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher and you can hear it whispering on the wind: Bye, Felicia


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