Last truck rolls off NUMMI assembly line

The New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., (NUMMI) plant in Fremont, California.

March 26, 2010 12:20:08 PM PDT
More NUMMI workers clocked in for the last time Friday. NUMMI truck workers tell ABC7 that the last truck will roll off the assembly line today, and with it go what is left of hundreds of NUMMI jobs.

Workers ABC7 spoke with today were not afraid to tell us or show us how they felt.

Video taken by employee Jasmine Manzo showed the last vehicle, a red truck, being produced at the NUMMI plant. Employees posed together for pictures on their last day on the job. But underneath the smiles in the photos, many had tears. Eighteen-year-auto worker Tim Watson clearly shed his.

"I got 18 years. This is our family. Everybody here is our family," said Watson. "I got two kids to take care of. It's tough."

Manzo's video shows workers putting finishing touches on the last truck and then being walked out of the plant.

"After the whole process of turning in our badges, having them deactivated, having our last check ready? it was sad," said Manzo, who has only worked at NUMMI for about a year. She says she feels bad for the people who have spent most of their adult lives there.

"Yeah, this is my last day. They just gave me my package and said good-bye to everyone that we love and care about," said 17-year employee Bobby Jones who has no immediate plans, except to care for his family. "Right now I just want to take a break because I have five sons at home and I have a wife at home, so this is a nice time to spend with them."

"I feel for so many people that's got kids, so many co-workers that [need] a lot of medication for their children. I think of them before me," said Watson.

All of the truck workers were expected to be out of the plant by noon today. Workers left will be those who assemble the Corolla. The last one is expected to roll off the line Wednesday. That is when Raymond Moore, who has worked at the plant for 43 years, will walk away for good.

"I'm too old to look for another job," he said.

NUMMI is offering its laid-off employees re-employment training and counseling starting in April.