• February 24, 2024
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    From the Desk of President Tom Quackenbush

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Executive Board of Local 294 for appointing me as President to lead our Local into the future.  As you are aware, the recent retirement of John Bulgaro has left a void to fill and I appreciate the opportunity to serve you.  I have been a part of this organization for a long time, starting as a shop steward at UPS, Recording Secretary, Business Agent, Secretary Treasurer and now your President.

    In the last 75 years, we have had three Presidents. That is a testament to the strength and resiliency of our organization.  I realize the void that needs to be filled and I am up for the challenge.  As our newly elected International General President Sean O'Brien says, "We need to get Bigger, Faster, and Stronger".

    With the partnership of our Executive Board and our members, I would like to make our organizing efforts a top priority.  This will enable us to get "Bigger".  To get "Stronger and Faster" we have to involve our younger generation of Teamsters to get involved.  Our younger members are the future.  

    Through the efforts of Business Agent Stan Koniszewski, we have secured two grants totaling $250,000 that will be used to buy a truck and expand our CDL training program to Class B.  These types of efforts create new opportunities for our current and future members.  Recently, I have had the opportunity to speak with several young Teamsters who are in the process of obtaining their CDL A through our training program and it was exciting to hear their stories.  

    In closing, I would like to say I'm excited for the future of our International Union as well as our Local Union and look forward to working with you. 

    With warmer weather on its way, I wish you all a happy and healthy spring and summer.

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    Teamsters Local 294 Business Agent and Joint Council 18 Political Coordinator Stan Koniszewski testified at a hearing at the New York Assembly – “Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Workforce.” Koniszewski testified on behalf of Joint Councils 16, 18 and and 46 about the safety and workforce implications of driverless vehicles.

    “Any policy decisions regarding artificial intelligence must be made with both public safety and the protection of workers in mind. This is especially true when it comes to those who drive for a living,” Koniszewski said. “The New York Teamsters represent tens of thousands of workers whose workplace is a vehicle. Any artificial intelligence in a vehicle, and especially any fully autonomous vehicle technology, is viewed by our members as a direct threat to their job, and a significant threat to public safety.”

    The Teamsters Autonomous Vehicle Federal Policy Principles was submitted to the committee. New York Teamsters are encouraging New York state lawmakers to take the lead on implementing public policies recommended in the framework in the absence of comprehensive federal regulation concerning driverless cars and trucks.

    “The International Brotherhood of Teamsters believes that any type of artificial intelligence must be regulated to protect the public by requiring safe operation and meaningfully address what many, including the Teamsters, view as a potentially catastrophic impact on the American workforce,” the New York State Conference of Teamsters said in a letter to the committee members. “Any legislation that falls short in protecting the public or impacted workers will not meet the standard that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters demands on behalf of our members and the public.”

    The hearing was conducted by Asm. Latoya Joyner, Chair of the Standing Committee on Labor, and Asm. Steven Otis, Chair of the Standing Committee on Science and Technology. Other witnesses who testified included Josh Kellerman, Director of Public Policy, Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union; Rebecca Damon, Executive Director, New York Local, Labor Policy and International Affairs, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists; Lowell Peterson, Executive Director, Writers Guild of America, East, and Prakash Lal, Executive Board Member, Public Employees Federation (PEF).

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