What the hell is this?

Mother Muckraker is an internal newsletter at the now defunct New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) in Fremont, CA. The newsletter seeks to debunk the lies and misinformation spread by Toyota and their "company activists"; and more importantly, inform NUMMI union employees about the real reason why Toyota closed their award winning auto plant on April 1, 2010. NUMMI is dead, but Mother Muckraker lives on to serve as a testament to the greedy machinations of Toyota management. Stay tuned for updates.

Twitter

@mothermuckraker

You Tube

http://www.youtube.com/user/MotherMuckraker/videos


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tesla and Toyota NUMMI Deal Timed to Coincide with IPO


Tesla is about to go public. When there's a IPO in the making, you can bet there'll be a clanging of gongs and bashing of cymbals to get investors to buy their stock. They want to be as vague as possible with the facts while painting a picture of a prosperous future. It starts with a story.


The storybook version of how this all came about was that Mr. Toyoda wanted to test drive a Tesla roadster. Elon Musk willingly obliged and away they went driving around. Mr. Toyoda hops into the Tesla roadster, Dukes a Hazzard style, puts the pedal-to-da-metal , burn some rubber and impresses Musk with his aggressive attitude. They became fast friends as they were both auto enthusiasts and decided to work together and make electric cars skipping off hand in hand merrily into the sunset. That's bullshit.


The press releases make it sound like this was done on the fly; but really, it was planned for a long time. Tesla gave clues to their decision to acquire the NUMMI plant at least a couple months ago when they were saying they were going to build a plant in Downey. This is from 4/29/10:


http://www.egmcartech.com/2010/04/29/tesla-to-announce-model-s-production-location-in-coming-weeks/


Tesla Motors plans to announce in the next several weeks that it has chosen a new plant to produce its new Tesla Model S sedan, CEO Elon Musk said in an interview with Automotive News.


Musk said that Tesla is hitting 50 to 60 individuals a month with a focus on vehicle engineering and production specialists. It said that it has two finalists to supply 80 percent of the parts that will be used on the Model S, due out in 2012.


The new plant will be on the West Coast and will build the Model S sedan and the replacement for the Tesla Roadster.


Musk said that Tesla will convert an existing factory but declined to say whether the plant had been previously used by other automakers (we’re guessing he’s talking about NUMMI here).


“It hasn’t yet been finalized,” he said. “We’ve almost fully negotiated the deal, but it has not been signed yet.


This deal was in the works for quite some time.


When 2 companies get together, there are mutually agreed upon terms that benefit both and it's discussed with their attorneys and accountants present and financial statements laid out. Future goals are discussed to see if it will benefit each other. People are sitting around a table talking about numbers and projected sales, not galavanting around on a Sunday drive.


Don't fall for their self adulating feel-good propaganda; instead, look at the numbers and facts. Toyota only invested $50 million in this deal. Their contribution towards our measly "Retention Package" was $250 million. NUMMI payroll was $500 million per year. $50 mil. is chump change. Does Toyota have faith in this deal? Toyota is not putting a whole lot on the line as far as money is concerned.


What Toyota is concerned about is their recent image problem. They had a record number of recalls and they closed their first and best plant, NUMMI. This recent publicity allows Toyota to reframe themselves as "green" and a company that "provides jobs". It's cheap publicity.


This deal also suggests that Toyota's electric vehicle technology is lacking somewhere and they need something from Tesla. When companies make a move like this, they won't take it unless there were numerous benefits. Not only does Toyota get to greenwash themselves to their prospective customers, but they now have a foothold in their competition's business. If Tesla fails, it would be an opportunity for Toyota to buy out the rest of Tesla and make "Tesla" Toyota's line of electric vehicles much like "Scion" and "Lexus" sells a certain type of car for a specific market.


In this deal, Tesla is the one that is taking most of the risk, not Toyota. There are some significant obstacles for Tesla to overcome.


The $450+ mllion government stimulus money for Tesla will only be given under certain conditions. One being that Elon Musk must own a certain minimum % of the shares or the government will consider Tesla to be in default and the stimulus money will be withdrawn. Elon Musk is in the middle of a divorce and his wife wants, among other things, a 10% stake in Tesla. If she receives that 10% and Elon's stake in the company falls below a certain threshold, that $450+ million will be withdrawn and Tesla will fail. This is where Toyota can step in and "bail out" Tesla by pumping more money into Tesla or buying it outright. Toyota has tens of BILLIONs in Cash and buying Tesla would be easy to do.


And how much money will this IPO raise? Some unconfirmed reports on the internet suggests the target is ~$2 billion. Will people buy their stock? Will people think Toyota's backing is good enough or will people see Toyota's $50mil. investment as a lack of faith in Tesla? Will investors feel that Tesla can sell lots of electric vehicles?


Tesla has sold only 1000 of the $100k roadsters so far and total sales of all electric vehicles are about 5,000. Tesla expects 20,000 coming out of NUMMI when they start producing a $50k vehicle. Going from 1000 to 20,000 a year is quite a stretch. Will 20,000 people buy a $50k electric car? We have no details on that vehicle other than a few pictures of the "S Model". Will the Toyota name brand be attached to these vehicles? Will the "S Model" be sold in Toyota dealerships?


Keep in mind that people will not be hired at NUMMI if there are no sales. So far, nothing they're saying is a done deal. There are more questions than answers.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Toyota Tesla Partnership to Reopen NUMMI



As most of you know, there is this good news of NUMMI reopening. "HURRAY!!!" "WOO HOO!!" Okay.... now just chill for a sec.


First, it's great news that electric vehicles will be produced there as they produce no emissions . We desperately need vehicles like that to keep global warming in check. Mass production of EVs have to start somewhere and the sooner the better. Our Co2 levels are at an all time high and our glaciers are melting. Most scientists agree that we are moving towards extinction if we don't keep these greenhouse gasses in check. There's no doubt about it. We need to move towards ZERO greenhouse gas emissions NOW. What remains in question is the issue of labor.


We lost 4500 jobs. This new venture is expected to create 1000 jobs in the beginning. Which one of us will be hired back? Will laid off NUMMI workers get preference?


What about the UAW? Will the workers be represented by the union with a contract? How much will people be earning there? Or will Tesla take advantage of people's desperation and use "union avoidance" techniques? Will Tesla be working with the union with a new contract?


The projected production of the Tesla model to be produced at the former NUMMI plant is only 20,000 per year. NUMMI can produce 400,000+. This suggests that Tesla will be hiring more than their initial 1000 workers in the future as sales is expected to rise. It remains to be seen whether Tesla has a viable product for the mass market. Unlike Toyota, when NUMMI began, Tesla is starting from scratch.


Also, Toyota's investment of $50 million to buy a stake in Tesla is chump change when Toyota has tens of billions in cash. Toyota has little to lose. Some early reports on the internet have suggested that this is nothing more than a publicity stunt on Toyota's part to soften their recent spate of bad press with recalls and closing their best quality plant. What could be better than the promise of "green technology" to replace NUMMI? Is it Toyota's way of greenwashing their recent bad press on the cheap?


You need to be asking questions.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Someone died in an accident at NUMMI – April 2009


From: MM o1o 3/31/10

Sometime in April 2009, there was a person working here who was struck by falling pallets, hit his head on the floor and died. We have had a couple safety meetings since April 2009 and absolutely nothing was mentioned about this incident. I have asked team members from several different groups and none of them have heard of this incident. Why was this not mentioned during safety meetings? Is the company trying to sweep this under the rug?

I find the language used with regards to this safety investigation suspect. What is “D company”? Was this person working for one of our contractors? Where exactly is “I plant”? If you look at the Current Safety Investigation sheet, the drawing shows a “Painting machine”. Did this happen in the Paint department? And most importantly, who is “victim A”?

Did he/she have a spouse? Did this person have kids to take of? Who are the parents? Friends? These people suffered a tragic loss. It does not matter if this person worked as a contractor or NUMMI. This person died working here and his family needs to be compensated and we all should have been notified so we can prevent future tragedies. If someone knows about this, they need to speak up.

There is no legitimate excuse for not mentioning this during safety meetings. It’s extremely disrespectful to brush this aside like this. They did not even use this person’s name. THIS PERSON HAS A NAME!! People working here make Toyota and their contractors lots of money and when something like this happens, proper respect and compensation must be shown. Where’s the trust and respect? It was all just a lot of talk without action to back it up.

Reminder: You Can Take Your Time Signing for the Retention Package

If you feel you have been wronged by the company, consult a labor lawyer before signing for the retention money. If you sign, you can’t sue the company. Keep in mind that for those of you getting only the minimum of $21k, that is a gross amount. After taxes, that money will not amount to much.


MM009 correction:
The banner in Trucks say “Quality Protects Jobs” not “Saves”. In either case, the context is the same. It is a lie. Trucks achieved a 0 DPV last year.

“An Injury To One Is An Injury To All”
-Industrial Workers of the World motto

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Micheal Moore: Capitalism – A Love Story

A movie review of Michael Moore’s latest documentary out on DVD now

In Trucks, there’s a huge banner by management saying, “Quality Saves Jobs”. We did everything right. NUMMI had the fewest defects in their latest internal audits of all Toyota plants and is continuing to post record low defects day after day; yet, Toyota is shutting down NUMMI eliminating thousands of jobs across the state. “Quality Saves Jobs”? The hell it does. They lied because you are unemployed. The income we earn here at NUMMI will not be replaced. Many of you will eventually lose your home. Our kids won’t be able to go to college without incurring a huge debt. We will not get adequate health care and some will die because of it.

It wasn’t always like this. In the film, Capitalism - A Love Story, Michael Moore takes us back to his childhood. His father worked on an assembly line. His dad got 4 weeks paid vacation, free health care, mortgage paid off, one income family, Michael went to Catholic school, and his dad had a pension. Michael had a great childhood. It was a good life for blue collar folks back then. How did we get from making a decent living to this?

Back when Michael Moore was kid in the 1950s, the marginal tax rate for people earning over $1 million was 90%. All that money from rich people built an economic infrastructure that allowed the middle class to flourish. Highways were built. Schools were built. Things that we needed were paid for from that money. Living well allowed the civil rights movement to grow. Money allowed us time to learn about what is going on and confidence to fight for our rights. Even with a 90% tax rate, rich people were still living well, but many running big corporations did not see it that way. They wanted to keep all their wealth.

So in 1980, the greedy capitalists got one of their guys in the White House, Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a B-movie actor and a corporate spokesmodel on TV and print ads selling products in the 60s. Ronnie was a salesman. Ronnie served as a corporate propaganda figurehead telling folks that unrestrained capitalism was the way to wealth, heath and happiness for everyone. Ronnie’s right-hand man, Don Regan, CEO of Merrill Lynch, was always at his side telling him what he should do. Don Regan was caught telling Reagan, the President of the United States, “you’ll have to speed it up.” when Reagan stumbled over a few words and took a little too long making his speech. The President wasn’t calling the shots. Don Regan, the CEO of Merrill Lynch was telling him what to do. This country was to be run like a corporation with the production of profits at all costs. Hell with people, the capitalists need to make money.

So What Happened From 1980 to 2000?

GM started closing plants and laying off 10s of thousands of their workers. One of the casualties was our former GM plant here in Fremont which closed in 1982. GM was making record profits but they were closing plants all over the country. It was a union busting operation on a large scale. UAW membership was decimated. At the same time, productivity rose 45% during that time period. People who were left working were working harder.

As a result of these plant closings and forced concessions, blue collar wages went up only 1% during this period. The richest people had their taxes cut in half. Household debt went from 47% of our GDP to 111%. More people had to live off their credit cards. Bankruptcies went from 287,000 to 2,039,000 as a result. More people were incarcerated. It went from 503,586 in jail to 2,293,157 which gives the U.S. the distinction of having the highest incarceration rate in the world. Healthcare costs jumped up 78% during that period. But the Dow Jones Industrial Average went from 875 to 15,000. The ratio of CEO pay to workers jumped 649% (from 1/35 to 1/365) In 2009, the income disparity is back to 1930’s levels. Hurray for capitalism!

During that same period, GM and Toyota decided on a joint venture, NUMMI. It had nothing to do with saving our jobs. They were both learning how to take advantage of the new “pro-business” Reagan administration. GM was learning the Toyota Production System. The foundations of TPS lies with timing each movement and filling in takt time completely with work. GM did not have this and many of their jobs back in the day were relatively easy compared with what goes on at NUMMI nowadays. Ben Hamper, who wrote “Rivethead”, documents some of his experiences working on a GM assembly line. Ben would often work only 4 hours and get paid 8 because he would rotate jobs with another guy doing 2 jobs. He would do 2 jobs while the other guy slept or went to the bar and then the other guy would come back and do 2 jobs while he went off to whatever he wanted to do. Working on an assembly line back in the day was pretty good. Imagine just doing ½ (or less) of a NUMMI assembly line job every day. Pretty good eh? But after GM started to time every element, there was no time left over and assembly line work became as brutal as any Japanese factory.

GM also learned how to form a company union from Toyota. In Japan, most of the Toyota workers are represented by a Toyota sponsored union whose union leadership are appointed by the company instead of being elected. The result is a very obedient workforce in Japan. People there will not speak up. At NUMMI, the success of the UAW cooperating with management led to the UAW doing the same at GM. They call it “jointness” at GM. To put it simply, management at GM asks for a concession and the UAW gives in without a fight. “Jointness” is nothing more than a company union.

Not much is discussed about what Toyota learned from GM as it’s assumed that Toyota had nothing to learn. Toyota learned something all right. Toyota watched as GM closed plant after plant in the 80’s while GM was still making a huge profit. Although Toyota had promised their workers job security, they eventually succumbed to the American way of putting profits over everything. Toyota knew that demand will level off and to keep their banker shareholders happy, they needed to keep profits high by lowering wages. They will just do it like GM. Toyota will close their only union plant to bust the union and pave the way towards lowering wages at their other plants even though they have been making record profits over the last few years and have a huge amount of cash to the tune of $39 billion (9/30/10)

But what can anyone do? There are too many people who think that you have to take whatever crap that comes your way which is false. In the movie, Moore gives examples of what people can do and already are doing with huge success. Some organized their neighbors to keep a family in their home. Some formed their own company in the form of a co-op and make $65k working in a bread factory. They are all forms of “democracy” where everyone has a say in how to run things.

One Person One Vote - Democracy

The richest 1% owns 99% of the wealth. The rich would have you think that you should “vote with your dollars”. But what if you don’t have money? Since the rich owns 99% of the wealth and you “vote with your money”, the rich have all the votes and you just have to take whatever crap is handed to you. But what gets in the way of the rich is “democracy” where 1 person equals one vote. The rich guy with a billion dollars still only has one vote. The people have 99% of the votes when you vote with democratic means instead of money. For example, if enough people get together and collectively vote to raise marginal tax rates for the rich back to 90%, that can happen because we have 99% of the votes while the top 1% only have 1% of the votes. Get how that works?

Corporations only know how to vote with their money. They can now give unlimited campaign contributions to buy off politicians to pass whatever laws that work in their favor. They use money to make enticing ads. They use money to bribe. But corporations can’t use democracy to further their cause because they still only have one vote. We can use democracy to win because we have all the rest of the votes.

Believe it or not, this plant closing was not inevitable. It did not have to happen. If there were enough of us exercising our democratic rights in the beginning, Toyota would not dare to close their best plant. If we had protested over including language in our contract that avoids strikes, we could’ve brought them to their knees by taking away their labor. But, the no strike clause is in our contract which greatly diminishes our power and allows the company to do whatever they want to us because they know they will still have our labor. We can’t take away their most valuable resource with a no strike clause.

But don’t think of this as a failure. Think of this as a learning experience. Learn what we did wrong as a union. Learn what democratic actions you have to take. Learn about who these politicians are and what their motives are. Learn about which laws hurt you and which help you. There’s a lot you can do. For example, getting the Employee Free Choice Act passed will help working people. It will make forming unions easier. More money will flow towards working people. But that won’t happen without your participation. If enough people raise the issue, we can outlaw the trading of derivatives which caused the 2008 financial crisis. But that won’t happen without your participation. Democracy requires you to get off your rear end and take action. You educate yourself. You discuss issues with people to find the truth. You speak up in protest. You write. This is not the end. It’s a beginning. Future generations are depending on you. Whether it’s the beginning of oppression and poverty or the beginning of a popular revolt designed to increase middle and lower class wealth is up to you. Michael Moore ended his documentary asking for people to join him in his fight for democracy. What are YOU going to do?


It’s class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn’t be.
--Warren Buffett, world’s richest person 2007


I sincerely believe… that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.
--Thomas Jefferson, 1816

9 out of 10 of Toyota’s top 10 shareholders are financial institutions.

Lies Lies Lies - NUMMI Toyota Lies

The closing of NUMMI is nothing new. Back in the late 80's when GM closed plants in Flint Michigan, they were making their highest profits ever. People in that city never recovered and the city of Flint has been laid waste. Now in 2010, we have the same situation with Toyota. Toyota was already planning to lower labor costs in a big way in 2006 when they posted their highest profits ever. Now, Toyota has $39 billion in cash as of 9/30/09 which is enough to weather any storm, but they are closing NUMMI anyways. GM learned a little about producing quality from Toyota. And what did Toyota learn from GM? Toyota learned how to union bust.

Toyota knows that demand will eventually level off as no company can grow indefinitely. To keep profits high for their greedy financial institution shareholders, they are willing to pay people less money so the company keeps more of the money. Toyota is closing NUMMI to get rid of their only union plant to pave the way towards lowering wages in N. America. That's what Toyota will never tell you. If they are screwing you over why would they tell you the truth? Instead, they spread their red herrings, misinformation and straight up lies either directly through official company spokespeople or companymen posing as loyal union workers.

Lets look at ALL the lies. Lies about why NUMMI is closing as well as lies about the union and you, the worker. You will need answers to these lies. If you don't know the answers, then the lie becomes truth in the eyes of the uninitiated public. A sullied reputation will hamper your financial success in the future. Know the answers and be ready to answer whether they be a prospective employer, friends or family so your good reputation remains intact.


LIE: It's GM's fault !!
GM’s decision to leave in the wake of bankruptcy in summer 2009 made NUMMI no longer viable for Toyota. 2001-09 is 15.41% is GM production. The 10-15% of GM production are nothing more than a Toyota Matrix rebadged as a Pontiac Vibe. The GM cars are Toyota products. Since production are all Toyotas, then money coming in (revenues) is the result of Toyota sales and GM leaving has little to do with NUMMI's viability.

After GM filed for bankruptcy, they pulled out of NUMMI and we produced Toyotas exclusively working Saturdays and overtime to meet the demand. So with GM gone, there's even MORE revenue coming from the sales of Toyotas.

LIE: Toyota has significant excess capacity in North America.
This is based on Toyota's own internal forecast of demand based on the 2008 economic crisis. But how many hours have we been working lately? ALL plants have been working overtime. Where's the excess capacity?

LIE: NUMMI is plagued by long supply lines from the Midwest.
And for 25 years they have put up with that? 1/3 of parts come from Japan where we are closer. Also, many cars are sold to Californians which will offset the costs of parts coming from the midwest. It costs $750 to deliver each car. That, in and of itself, would offset the costs of some parts being delivered from the midwest. Also, there will be numerous supplier plant closings around Northern California like Injex in Hayward.

LIE: The plant is too old.
Toyota and GM both have plants as old as NUMMI, but they are still operating. It's just a building. It's the machinery that is being constantly upgraded. It would actually be more efficient to use an older plant as an economy of scale has been realized.


The above 4 main lies spread by Toyota are answered and debunked by the NUMMI Blue Ribbon Commission in their 32 page report:
http://treasurer.ca.gov/nummi/report.pdf

Whenever the subject of unions come up, you can bet that the lies will start. These lies originate from union buster firms (Labor Relations Consultants, labor avoidance firms), then to human resources, then to labor relations folks, then to employees who are "company activists". Lets look at some more lies:


LIE: GM is responsible for closing NUMMI and they need to put up some money for our severance pay.
GM filed for bankruptcy and the bankruptcy laws keep them from paying us anything. If the union spent time going after GM, that means chasing after money that does not exist. That is what Toyota wants us to do. Anyways, GM production made up only a small part of total production so the bulk of the money coming in is from Toyota sales which benefits Toyota more. Also, Toyota could've bought GM's share of NUMMI for pennies on the dollar because of bankruptcy, but Toyota chose not to. It was Toyota's decision to close NUMMI. Toyota is financially responsible 100%.

LIE: NUMMI is not Toyota.
Again, this is used to divert attention away from Toyota. All of Toyota's plant in N. America are "separate" corporations. In Texas, Toyota's plant is under a corporation owned by Toyota called Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas or TMMTX. "NUMMI" is just a name. It could've been called anything. NUMMI could've been called "Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Fremont". It's just a name. NUMMI is Toyota. We make Toyotas. CEOs are all Toyota folks. We use TPS. NUMMI is Toyota.

LIE: GM and UAW is one in the same.
This is a red herring used to divert attention away Toyota's responsibility. The UAW has been making concessions for decades now. When the UAW took over the responsibility of running the VEBA trust to pay for the GM retiree health benefits, it was just another concession out of many.

It was a concession. Instead of taking 100% cash to pay for the retiree health benefits, the UAW took some funds in the form of worthless GM stock. So through their VEBA trust, the UAW owns shares of GM. To say that the UAW is now part of management is misleading as the UAW needs a majority in the board of directors to sway their decisions which is not the case as they only have one person appointed to the GM board.

With regards to NUMMI, this is a lie because it come from "company activists" posing as union people. It is directed at the current Local 2244 political party that is in power, the "United Alliance". The United Alliance is an outgrowth of the New Directions Movement which is against "jointness". They did their best to counter that at NUMMI. In a "Barking Dog" newsletter by Caroline Lund, she reported that some top management was overheard saying, "we're f----d now" after the United Alliance won the majority of elected positions. It's people like Sergio Sanchez, Javier Contreras and others in the United Alliance that was trying to change things for the better.

The old "Administration Caucus" were the good ole boys/yes men of the UAW headquarters who went with anything GM told them. After they lost a major election, they started recruiting folks back into their failed party. In doing so, they got people who were explicitly Republican like Juan Castillo onto their side and management supported them. Note the fact that James Potts, the head of Finance at NUMMI (Mr Potts) posts on autoworkersnews.com. Note that Maria Gregg has said to KTVU that "Toyota pays my salary". These are all company people promoting Toyota's excuses. The main one being diverting attention to GM and away from Toyota.

It's not the United Alliance that is at one with GM management. It's Juan Castillo, Maria Gregg, Deniese Alejandro and their cohorts, now called "independents" and the "Autoworkers Caucus", who are closely working with management in a union busting capacity. Those are the real companymen.

LIE: NUMMI never turned a profit.
First, NUMMI is privately held, so they don't have to open up their books. No one know their profits. But this is a matter of common sense. They want you to believe that Toyota put up with a loss for 25 years. How can anyone operate a business at a loss for 25 years? Instead, NUMMI has been VERY successful making billions over the course of 25 years. If it was operating at a loss they would've shut it down when their "probationary period" ended after 12 years, but NUMMI fought to keep it open after that. NUMMI was and is successful making reliable and best selling vehicles right from the start.

LIE: $75/hr.
They are deliberately confusing labor costs with wages. They add the benefits AND the payments to retirees to wages of people who are currently working and they are calling that your "wage". That is a lie.

How much you are making is shown on your 1040 and that can't be disputed. Payments to other people who are retired are not on your 1040.

LIE : Easy Jobs.
Working on an auto assembly line is brutal. You perform thousands of operations a day and you have to do it all over the next day. It's VERY difficult work. The "easy" jobs are not even that easy. Like in QC, you still have to pay attention and know what to look for. These "easy jobs" are for high senority workers. They have all paid their dues with injuries working for years on the line. Nothing is easy in an auto plant.

LIE: NUMMI was an experiment and everyone learned what they needed to learn so its time to move on.
It was an experiment for the 1st year. After much success, NUMMI made lots of money for Toyota. GM learned how to produce quality. Toyota learned how to union bust, the GM way.

LIE: UAW caused NUMMI failure. "UAW killed the goose that laid the golden egg."
No. Toyota is closing NUMMI to get rid of their only union plant so they can lower wages at their other plants.

LIE: High California costs.
Note that there are no numbers given. Labor costs of $500 million at NUMMI is the highest cost. Nothing comes close. Toyota is closing NUMMI to lower labor costs (wages) at all their plants and "California costs" is just another one of their excuses.

LIE: Lazy autoworkers.
Best selling car of all time is a Corolla. Corolla #1 in sales during "Cash for Clunkers". NUMMI ramped up their new Corolla model production faster than Ontario. NUMMI has consistently posted the lowest defects of all Toyota plants. Trucks even achieved a ZERO defect during an internal audit which is unheard of even for Toyota. Lazy? Actually, workers at NUMMI are very hard working and very competent.

LIE: Unskilled Labor.
All labor is skilled. It takes skill to do repetitive tasks accurately day in and day out. It takes motivation to come into work everyday. One has to be physically able to do the difficult work and that work needs to be compensated. People can't just be hired off the street and expect to be successful at NUMMI. calling labor "unskilled" is another excuse to pay you less money.

LIE : Above market rate wages.
At NUMMI we make about $65k and up to $75k with overtime. This is a Bay Area median income. We are actually getting market rate wages. It's the greedy shareholders trying to lower wages and keep more of the money for themselves who are spreading that lie. If one makes below our wages and benefits, they are making below market rate wages and THEY are the ones who need to step up and form a union and get themselves a collective bargaining contract to raise their wages.

LIE: Using FMLA to be lazy and have fun.
FMLA is a right that you and I need. If one of our family members needs care, we need to be there for them. We can't sacrifice our family for the sake of the company. People have legitimate reasons for going on FMLA.

LIE: Faking injuries.
That's BS. Most people that have worked on the line will suffer an injury at some point. It's brutal work.

LIE: No unions needed because we already have good laws.
And how does that work? There has been a steady loss of union membership over the last 30 years. At the same time, median income has stagnated while the top 1% income earners have skyrocketed. We need unions more than ever to keep money flowing to working people.

Laws right now are being passed that protect corporations. Like the recent Supreme Court decision to allow corporations unlimited campaign funding. This corrupts politicians and judges. the end result is more money flowing to the top 1% in the U.S.

LIE: Management and union working together is a good thing.
False. Management will not waver in trying to extract as much of the revenues for themselves. We, as a union, need to fight against that or we will be making concessions all the way to a plant closing. Any concessions made recently help save NUMMI? Did giving up Blue Shield save NUMMI? Did our double points for Mondays and Fridays save NUMMI? Did our furloughed Fridays save NUMMI?

LIE: NUMMI never went on strike.
The A.C. supporter expresses horror that former Chairman Richard Aguilar led us to walk out at the expiration of our contract in 1994. New people may not know why this strike was called. The Bargaining Committee walked us out because the Company was demanding: 1) a 10-hour workday with no overtime over 8 hours; 2) double points against us for absences on Fridays or Mondays; 3) in order to go to the bathroom during work time, you would need a doctor's note.
-- May 20, 2002, Caroline Lund’s Barking Dog
http://www.labournet.de/branchen/auto/gm-opel/bdog/45.html


Beware: Multi-Level Marketing Business Opportunities Abound at NUMMI

You may have seen flyer and pamphlets promising you a great business opportunity. Keep in mind that if they want you to spend money, it’s probably a multi-level marketing company. MLM organizations are structured in a way that makes it impossible for 99% of the people to make any money. Only the top 1% make money. The top 1% makes money off the sales of their products to the lower 99%. The bottom 99% must lose so the top 1% can win. That's how it works and you can't get around it. It's legal, but it's also a scam. It's not a legitimate business. Avoid it at all costs.