This week I was appointed by California Treasurer Bill Lockyer to be part of a blue ribbon commission to study the Toyota NUMMI
auto plant closure in Fremont. We will be gathering information in the hopes to persuading Toyota to keep the plant open or at least to delay its closure. Needless to say, in this economy, California can ill-afford to loose nearly 5,000 local jobs and an estimated 50,000 total jobs through other related industries. Obviously I bring little economic juice to the commission, but was included because the clergy in the Bay Area have long been a part of fight for just and fair work situations and there are moral implications to this closure that we want to make sure Toyota is aware of.
"A key goal for the commission is to have Toyota defer the decision on
the future of the plant for at least two years when the auto market is
more stable, when the state of California is more secure." – Bill Lockyer
As this commission moves forward in our work including possible brief trip to Japan to meet with Toyota Executives, I will blog, Facebook and Twitter my way through the entire journey. My hope is to bring some visibility to the situation and lift up public support for those impacted. We do know this is a long shot, but worth the time and effort to possibly avoid such a huge loss.
Here is the Official 02.24.10 Press Release [pdf].
Also, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justic (CLUE) will hold a service of blessing for a Worker Pilgrimage that will be traveling the state calling attention to the impact of Toyota's decision to close the NUMMI plant., we will be gathering on March 4, 5:30 am at the Nummi Plant, Fremont. For more
The Complete Commission
• Professor Harley Shaiken, UC Berkeley, Chair
• Bob Wasserman, Mayor of Fremont
• Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, Presbyterian Church USA [twitter] • Victor Uno, Chairman, Port of Oakland
• Richard Holober, Executive Director, Consumer Federation of CA [twitter] • Bruce Kern, Executive Director, East Bay Economic Development Alliance
• Carl Pope, President, Sierra Club
• Nina Moore, Fremont Chamber of Commerce
• Art Pulaski, Chief Officer, California Labor Federation [twitter] • Danny Glover, Actor [twitter]
Lastly, there are plenty of articles out there about the plant closure, but here are a couple that give some perspective: a NYT post from Michelle Quinn as well as an SF Gate opinion piece from Andrew S. Ross. And if you REALLY want to stay connected, here is the list of NUMMI-related twitters.