Former employees suing NUMMI as new management seeks to re-open plant

Legal Aid Society, others claim some workers left out of work without compensation

Apparently not everyone is happy with the prospect of the NUMMI plant reopening under new management.

Oakland attorney Tony Lawson said Tuesday that he and other lawyers will file an employment class action lawsuit against the old one: New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. and Toyota Motor Corp.

The suit is on behalf of NUMMI employees who were left out of work when the Fremont auto plant was closed.

NUMMI opened in 1984 and was a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors, but GM withdrew from the partnership last year. Toyota decided to close the auto plant on April 1. The move threw 4,700 union employees out of work and also affected thousands of employees at suppliers around the state.

Tesla Motors and Toyota announced on May 20 that they're forming a partnership to build electric cars at the former NUMMI site. Tesla says the new production, which is expected to start in 2012, will create about 1,000 jobs initially.

Former NUMMI workers will join Lawson and other lawyers to discuss the details of the lawsuit at a news conference in front of the U.S. District Court at 1301 Clay St. in Oakland at 11 Lawson said the suit will be filed shortly before the news conference. He declined to discuss the details of the suit today.

Other lawyers scheduled to participate in the news conference include Greg Mayeda of Oakland, Brad Seligman of the Impact Fund in Berkeley, and Claudia Center of the Legal Aid Society and the Employment Law Center.

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News, contributed to this story.

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Like this comment
Posted by Jose d Rodriguez
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm

I did work for this company,now I dont have a job, lost my house and my car,and to know the I spent eighteen years working hard and putting 110% every day, to bad companys like this dont apriceit good workers, I hope toyota alist call some,workers back

Like this comment
Posted by hmmmmmmmm
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 20, 2010 at 12:40 pm

this should be fastinating! Obama forced GM to include NUMMI in the assets of GM being liquidated which forced the closure of NUMMI. Based on these facts lawyers are suing Toyota and the new company TESLA.................what a waste of time.

Like this comment
Posted by Been there, Done that.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2010 at 9:00 am

First - Jose, I'm sorry about what you are going through. I hope you find a new job soon, and NUMMI/TESLA are able to hire many workers back.

Second - Having grown up in Michigan and watching the economy there die from the late 70's (look up Flint, MI)....only in America - where capitalism and market economy reign could a laid off worker sue a company for closing it's doors. This is frivolous lawsuit and money hungry lawyers at it's best.

Like this comment
Posted by Chris
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2010 at 9:08 am

Jose (and others),
I'll cross my fingers for you. Meantime, I hope the voters out here recognize the detrimental effects that democrat policies have upon the economy. Conservatives are pro-free market and not liberals. We need to vote all liberals out of office to empower the free market to rev up again, providing substantive jobs. Vote McNerney the hell out of office. He is no friend of the free market.

Like this comment
Posted by Juanita
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Why not sue the UAW right along with them? Why didn't our guys have the option to take a lower paycut, because the UAW did not do their jobs, but still continued to collect their pay! I think we are looking to the wrong organization.

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