End of NUMMI is also end for parts suppliers

March 31, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
NUMMI's demise is having a ripple effect on suppliers of parts and components and businesses that provide services to the Fremont auto plant.

The hugs and smiles at Johnson Controls in Livermore are parting gestures that mask real fear.

Cristanto Dumlao is thinking about his 15 year career at Johnson. His wife, 3- year-old twins and mortgage are waiting for him in Stockton.

"It's difficult to think that I won't have any more income to support our family and pay our bills," Dumlao said.

Two hundred forty people picked up their final paycheck Wednesday. The remaining 80 workers face the same fate in just weeks.

Since 1984, Johnson Controls has been manufacturing the seats NUMMI needed for every vehicle coming off its production line.

"It's the second time I went through it; worked for General Motors when they shut down in 1982," retired employee Gerry Lawson said.

Just like the GM closure decades ago, NUMMI's closure has a far reaching economic ripple. A popular taqueria in Livermore will survive the shutdown of the nearby NUMMI supplier, but loyal customers will be missed.

"We are going to feel it; I'm not going to say we won't feel it because we get people that come from there in the morning and afternoon," Connie Munoz of Taqueria Consuelito said.

Wednesday, lunch and a farewell cake were part of a simple thank you from Johnson Controls to its employees. What it cannot give workers anymore is the one thing they want -- a steady job.

"It's hard, I just can't imagine how I am going to be looking for work again," Dumlao said.


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