UAW, Teamsters to Rally for NUMMI

Two of the strongest unions in the US will join forces on Thursday, January 28, in front of the Embassy of Japan in Washington to protest against the closure of the New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) facility in California. The delegation will be lead by UAW vice president Bob King, UAW president Ron Gettelfinger and Teamsters general president James P. Hoffa.

The two unions will deliver a letter for Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, in which Gettelfinger and Hoffa express their concerns over the closure of the plant. According to the two, this decision will impact America's perception of Japan, especially because of the millions from the Cash for Clunkers bailout warned by Toyota.

According to the UAW and the Teamsters, the plant closure means a loss of 5,400 direct jobs and up to 50,000 jobs at suppliers and other supporting businesses, making it the biggest factory layoff in California since the beginning of the recession. Teamsters will lose 5,000 middle class jobs in the carhaul industry.

"Toyota's management decisions come at a time of much concern about the company, which had more recalls than any other auto maker in 2009 and has just halted production and sales of 8 models until its spontaneous acceleration problem is resolved," warn the two unions.

Toyota announced in late August that it will shut down operations at the NUMMI plant, blaming the high labor and logistics costs represented the main factor of the decision. Even more, California is a “high-cost location” with higher-than-average cost of living.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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