Lawyers to announce class action suit against NUMMI, Toyota 

Oakland attorney Tony Lawson said today that he and other lawyers will file an employment class action lawsuit against New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. and Toyota Motor Corp. over the recent closure of the NUMMI plant in Fremont.

The suit is on behalf of NUMMI employees who were left out of work when the 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 a.m. on Wednesday.
 
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.

The Fremont City Council will also discuss at tonight's meeting whether to direct staff to study the feasibility of creating a new redevelopment project in the vicinity of the NUMMI site.

Fremont officials said if the council approves a series of resolutions on the matter, staff would be authorized to prepare a redevelopment plan to stimulate the reuse and revitalization of the site and surroundings portions of the Warm Springs area.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced in Fremont on June 7 that her agency is providing a $19 million emergency grant to provide job training and other services for former NUMMI employees.

In addition, the city received a $330,000 federal grant in April to study uses for the former NUMMI site.

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