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Unions Target Weakened Toyota

Washington demonstration planned for Thursday.

by on Jan.27, 2010

Plans to close a California plant building this model, the Matrix, along with recent recalls, will have union members out demonstrating against Toyota on Thursday.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the United Auto Workers Union are taking aim at Toyota Motor Corp. while it is reeling from the fallout of its decision to suspend sales of eight of its most popular models due to a safety defect.

Teamster president James P. Hoffa and UAW vice president Bob King will lead a delegation of labor representatives, environmental advocates and consumer protection advocates in a protest outside the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

The union leaders also plan to deliver a letter to embassy offiicials for Japanese Minister Yukio Hatoyama.  The letter will express concern that Toyota’s plan to shut a plant in California will ultimately hurt America’s perception of Japan.  It calls on the Japanese government to meet with union representatives and with Toyota management, Teamster and UAW officials said. The facility, known as NUMMI,and located outside San Francisco, has been Toyota’s only unionized plant in the U.S.

“After receiving millions in the taxpayer-funded Cash for Clunkers bailout, Toyota plans to close its New United Motors Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) assembly plant in Fremont, CA, which will mean a loss of 5,400 direct jobs and up to 50,000 jobs at suppliers and other supporting businesses. This would be the biggest factory layoff in California since the beginning of the recession,” union officials said in a statement.

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Environmental advocates at the event will express their disappointment that Toyota, a company that markets itself as a leader in emissions reduction, will greatly expand its carbon footprint by shipping vehicles once made at NUMMI back to the U.S. from Japanese plants.

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Toyota Kills NUMMI

by on Aug.27, 2009

NUMMI located in Fremont, California, was the only vehicle assembly plant in the state.

NUMMI was the only vehicle assembly plant in the state that is the single largest U.S. auto market

Toyota Motor Corporation’s board of directors has decided to close the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont, California despite some last minute pleas by political figures in California.

The plant is now scheduled to close in March, according to new reports on the West Coast, which quoted city officials in Fremont, California.

“Toyota’s announcement that it will close the NUMMI plant is devastating news for thousands of workers in California,” said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger.

Friends of NUMMI, a group recently organized in California to oppose the shutdown, also declined to comment on the reports.

Nonetheless, the reports were consistent with the news leaking out of Japan for the past week, which said the plant was doomed. Ironically, the plant had been the source of the Toyota Corollas that were the top car sold through the “Cash for Clunkers” program that ended earlier this week.

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The shut down of the plant will wipe out 5,300 jobs and could lead to the loss of more than 30,000 other jobs across California, where the unemployment rate just passed 12%.

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Fear and Loathing Mount Around NUMMI

California’s last assembly plant is on the bubble.

by on Aug.25, 2009

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Toyota is reportedly prepared to make an announcement as soon as this Friday.

California state legislators in Sacramento are planning to introduce a resolution calling on Toyota to keep open the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont.

The legislation is being marked as a legislative priority and supporters are hoping to have it adopted before Toyota makes any kind of announcement about the fate of the plant, which employs 5,300 workers.

Toyota is reportedly prepared to make an announcement as soon as this Friday, setting out a timetable for closing the factory, which is last auto plant on the West Coast.

“We’re still trying to be optimistic,” said Tracy Rosen, a spokeswoman for “Friends of NUMMI,” which is described as a group of families, workers, suppliers and local businesses from throughout the state of California. The group is trying to persuade Toyota and the newly reorganized General Motors Company to consider the total loss in jobs, the impact on suppliers, local businesses and families that will be devastated by the plant’s impending closure.

The group estimates more than 50,000 jobs in California are now connected to the NUMMI plant and its shutdown will have a huge impact on the state’s distressed economy, which already has double-digit employment rates.

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