We previously told you that NUMMI, the Fremont plant formerly cooperatively run by Toyota and GM, was stick-a-fork-in-it done. And we thought that was the end of the story, as did most people. But California’s legislators, already bogged down by one of the biggest and most asinine budget crises ever, are desperate to avoid another reason for Californians to vote against them (or possibly revolt). So the politicians who represent the Alameda County region where the plant lies have been pleading with Toyota to spare the plant. They’ve also proposed bills in the General Assembly to exempt the plant from taxes. Schwarzenegger has also offered Toyota interest-free loans to use on the plant. So will it work?
Probably not. Toyota’s American plants are all non-union, except for NUMMI which is a UAW plant. Toyota is extremely wary of its plants unionizing with UAW … while on some level that kind of sounds like the proletariat-crushing standard industry position on such things, Toyota takes great care of its US workers and with much lower legacy costs. So even though the UAW contract expires on Thursday and this entire shellgame could simply be a negotiating tactic to get concessions from the union, we think it’s just as likely that NUMMI will finally be shuttered or possibly converted to a non-union plant. That’s just our analysis of the situation – no one outside of Toyota seems to know for sure what will happen in the end. We’ll continue to keep you posted as developments pop up.
[Source: Sacramento Bee]