NUMMI non-production days take effect

February 10, 2009 4:11:06 PM PST
The assembly lines at the NUMMI car and truck plant in Fremont were idle on Monday due to a drop in sales. More such days are planned at the GM-Toyota joint venture.

Monday was a non-production day. Employees can come to work to attend training classes, or they can elect to stay home with or without pay.

The 4,000 hourly workers have a no-layoff provision in their union contract, and they're accepting the non-production days.

"Has to be done, has to be done. We'll take it as long as we can get going through. It's a very critical time in the nation, and we just got to do what we've got to do," said Randy, a NUMMI employee.

NUMMI has scheduled 34 non-production days so far, mostly on Mondays and Fridays, for the car line, and 40 down days for its Tacoma truck line. More non-production days may be added in april and may.

"It's hurting us. It's hurting me financially, I know that. I'm worried about it every day," said Melvin, a NUMMI employee.

"Are you hoping it will help in the long term?" asked ABC7's Moneyscope reporter David Louie.

"Yes, I'm willing to sacrifice some of my days and my pay," said Melvin.

Neighboring businesses, like the Taqueria Las Vegas across the street, have seen their business drop 30 to 35 percent.

"We're debating whether or not to even stay open in the evening. It's gotten to the point where we either close down at 4 o'clock, call it a day, or do we continue. We're hurting, just like everyone else," said Taqueria Las Vegas co-owner Francisco Rodriguez.

There are a lot of crossed fingers that the NUMMI plant will survive these troubled economic times and be here for the comeback later in the year or perhaps next year.

But it's others, who did not want to go on-camera, told ABC7 that it appears Washington has picked certain industries and certain companies that they would like to see survive and others which will be left to fight it on their own.