NUMMI supporters to hold rally

August 19, 2009 12:52:09 PM PDT
Workers, union leaders, community members and politicians will hold a rally on Thursday to support efforts to keep the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. vehicle assembly plant open.

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TC Wilson, the interfaith and mobilization director for the Central Labor Council of Alameda County, said Wednesday that the rally will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday at United Auto Workers Local 2244 headquarters at 45201 Fremont Blvd. in Fremont, across the street from the NUMMI plant.

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi will attend the rally and will speak at 3 p.m., his office confirmed Wednesday.

NUMMI, which employs about 4,700 people, is a 25-year-old joint venture between General Motors and Toyota. GM announced in June that it would withdraw from the partnership.

Toyota, which is still making Toyota Corolla cars and Toyota Tacoma trucks at the Fremont facility, has said that it is also considering withdrawing from the joint venture but that a final decision hasn't yet been made.

Garamendi said Monday that the fight to keep the NUMMI plant open in Fremont "is far, far from over."

Garamendi said he supports a package of bills in the California Legislature that aim to provide incentives for Toyota to keep the NUMMI plant in Fremont.

Garamendi said he also thinks federal stimulus funds should be used to encourage Toyota to keep the plant open.

UAW Local 2244 officials said in a statement that their members have been producing high-quality cars and trucks for GM and Toyota at the NUMMI facility plant for 25 years.

They said the plant has won praise for its high productivity and quality, green innovation and cooperative labor-management relations.

UAW Local 2244 Bargaining Chair Javier Contreras said, "If they're going to sell vehicles here - and Toyota sells a lot of them in California - they ought to build them here."

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