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Toyota has never closed a U.S. assembly plant, but the suddenly struggling Japanese automaker has said that it would shudder the NUMMI factory in California, the only auto plant in the state, by next March. The upcoming closure isn't a big surprise since General Motors was allowed to bow out of its half of the joint venture project with Toyota during bankruptcy, giving Toyota full responsibility for the California plant. And since the Pontiac Vibe is no longer being made at the facility, capacity has dropped to a reported 60%, making the facility unprofitable at a time when Toyota is losing money.

The closure of the plant means, of course, that its 5,300 employees will soon be without a job. To protest the closure of NUMMI, an estimated 1,000 workers turned out to demonstrate in front of the facility last week. The union-organized workers are in a tough position, too, since their UAW contract expired last week. The contract was indefinitely extended, but either party can cancel it with five days notice. And with unemployment at 11% in California, finding a new job will be no easy task.

[Source: The Detroit Bureau | Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The people pictured look so happy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      John Johnson
      10:38AM (8/24/2009)
      Tell 'em to get back to work or fire them. They're unskilled laborers, which are a dime a dozen.

      Unions are dumb. It's so time to get rid of them. They were mainly around to ensure fair work conditions. Everyone's out for themselves - when a bunch of people out for themselves get together, this sort of stuff happens.


      Real fitting that this propaganda blog is also the same company that produces tmz
      Clearly the same mindset of those posting here.

      Anyone ever see a TOY ota from the late 1970s to mid 1980s ?
      knows it was GM and those union workers that saved TOY ota's ass.

      Normal japland BS as GM owned the plant, gave TOY ota a free ride for 25 years paying nothing to use that plant and then cries when it comes time they finally pay out they run out.

      Worse is you ricers who claim TOY ota has such high quality of cars made at that plant but the same union workers making the GM cars have lousy quality, who the frick are you kidding ?

        • 5 Years Ago
        A free ride? From the NUMMI website:

        "To help raise the $450 million needed to prepare the plant for production, GM contributed its Fremont, California, plant, which had closed in 1982. Toyota provided $100 million. NUMMI raised the additional capital as an independent California corporation."


        Where I'm from, $100 million isn't a free ride.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Gee it couldn't possibly have anything to do with California being too expensive to operate in now could it?
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I were Toyota, I'd get out of that plant as fast as possible.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. They are lucky they can pass this off as economic downturn issue. It's smart to drop the plant now. The way toyota can get away with avoiding the UAW is the threat to close any plant that unionizes. If they allow NUMMI to exist, they forfeit that and expose themselves to possible multi-plant strikes.

        It's the smart thing to do and anyone who works for a Toyota plant (or in a town supported by one) should support it. National Unions DO NOT CARE ABOUT WORKERS. THEY DO NOT CARE IF YOUR EMPLOYER GOES BROKE AND HAS TO CLOSE SHOP. They do not care about the vitality of American Industry.

        Eliminate large unions that dictate hiring/firing and plant management policis and watch American industry FLOURISH and wages INCREASE due to better talent and more competition!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The union is pretty much encouraging Toyota to keep unions out. Heh.

      Save the arm, but lose the life eh? The union way, bitter to the last drop.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota needs to start cutting back its plants in NA one of the reason's it report 2+ billion in loses, some of them can be relocated to China.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Rising unemployment is becoming a big problem in California. The government must reevaluate the rules for doing business here.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The word is "shutter." NUMMI is a high cost plant.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Need you ask? Shunk.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ya, who wrote this piece?

        "capacity has dropped to a reported 60%" - that's utilization, not capacity.

        I wouldn't say Toyota is struggling either, this is a global recession - everyone that's a major player in any industry is feeling the recession. If Toyota is struggling, it's certainly not the reason to close this plant - those reasons are obvious.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The sign on the left reads "Toyota's sold here..."

      This is why you are losing your job: Quality control.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The workers should pray to The Most Merciful One, His Majesty Barak Obama for a bailout. Remember, Obama loves you and he will protect you and make sure your job is safe.

      Maybe Obama can make all of them Government Workers, and bring them back to Government Motors, and they can bring back the Chevette, or the Vega.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yay for mindless retarded rantings. CTS, Cruze, Volt, SRX, Lacrosse = new Vega, right?

        • 5 Years Ago
        Ok, who's feeding the trolls?!?!?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I shudder at the thought of Toyota shuttering the NUMMI plant.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Let them build Priuses! [/marie-antoinette]

      "Like, wait, you're not gonna' tell me Toyota is gonna' put over 5000 people out of work? In recession-riddled California? Like, OMG! How totally bogus!"

      That's right, America: Toyota is just another company like all the rest -- in business to make money. And when nobody's makin' money (especially after the "clunkers" deal ends tonight), it's a big Tundra truck full of Not Good for everyone.
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