Truckers Plan ‘MayDay’ Rally to Sound Alarm About Threat of Job Losses to Self-Driving Trucks
Indianapolis, IN – A group founded by a trucker to bring public awareness to automated technologies such as self-driving trucks, and the job losses that could result from them, is organizing a rally to be held in conjunction with MayDay.
Will Cook, a lease owner operator, founded AmericaWithoutDrivers.com in 2019 to sound the alarm about the threats autonomous trucks pose to both public safety and to professional drivers.
Cook, along with multiple grassroots trucking groups and popular social media influencers within the trucking community, is planning to host a three-day protest at the Capitol in Indianapolis, IN, beginning May 1.
“We want to get people awake about autonomous technology and the potential ripple effect of putting drivers out of work,” Cook recently told Transportation Nation Network (TNN). “We have to get the message out that it is going to affect the middle class across the board. We have to get our Congressional leaders to see how serious we are.”
Among those working with AmericaWithoutDrivers are truckers and social media firebrands Rick Santiago and Charles Claburn.
Santiago was instrumental in helping spur an historic three-week trucker protest last May in Washington D.C. over plummeting freight rates being offered by brokers during the early days of the pandemic.
“Big tech is taking over everything,” Santiago told his Facebook followers in a live stream video last week. “Autonomous trucks are going to take over the industry. If you don’t believe autonomous is real, many years ago we were greeted at McDonald’s with a smile. Now we are greeted with computer screens.”
An extensive report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in March 2019 warned that autonomous trucks could displace as many as 900,000 professional truck drivers in as soon as the next decade.
Santiago calls this issue the “most important” one facing truckers.
“This is the most important stance in trucking because robots are taking over. There’s a lot of people who are going to be out of a trucking job and that’s something you truly need to understand. We need to take a stand together,” he stressed.
Claburn, a long-time grassroots activist, also agrees.
“We’re out of time. We’re out of options,” he told TNN on Tuesday. “Nobody on Capitol Hill is listening. People need to know what these autonomous trucks mean for public safety and jobs. This industry has been lied to for decades.”
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Other grassroots trucking groups that helped organize last year’s MayDay protest in D.C., like The Disrespected Trucker (TDT), are also supporting the rally.
“We have to stand up,” Jeremy Johnson, founder of the group told TNN. “There’s so many things coming down the line. I’m really at a loss for words. We are under attack.”
The organizers are planning for the event to last at least from May 1 through May 3.
However, protest leaders say it could last even longer.
The event will feature a host of speakers and other activities to take place each day at the Indiana State Capitol.
If you are interested in possibly getting involved, you are encouraged to visit AmericaWithoutDrivers.com to learn more.
TransportationNation.com will be following new developments in this story.
Photo courtesy Will Cook