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NUMMI workers emotional as Fremont plant closes

Hard to accept that this day is the end,' union chief says

The head of a union that represents 4,700 employees at the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont called the plant's closure today emotional and "devastating."

Sergio Santos, president of United Auto Workers Local 2244, said that even though he's known for a long time that this day was coming, he's still finding it difficult to accept that "this is the end."

He said workers were emotional when the last Toyota Corolla car rolled off the assembly line at about 9:45 a.m. today. The last Toyota Tacoma truck came off the assembly line last Friday.

Santos said the closure of the plant "will rip up some families" because they'll now have a hard time paying their mortgages and their bills.

He said many of the newly laid-off NUMMI employees are marking their last day by lunching together at restaurants near the plant.

NUMMI was a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota, but GM announced last June that it would withdraw from the partnership. Toyota announced in August that it wouldn't order any more vehicles from the plant after April 1.

Jeff S huttleworth, Bay City News

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