The NUMMI automobile plant up in the Bay Area city of Fremont has been in the news recently — it began closing down on Friday. This weekend on "This American Life," NPR automotive correspondent Frank Langfitt detailed how the plant originally worked as a case study of General Motors learning from Toyota how to build cars efficiently. Of more local relevance, the piece also revisited the former GM assembly plant in Van Nuys as the worst example of a work force that never would come around. Union members and management at Van Nuys dug in and stuck to their bad old GM ways, and the plant — built after World War II adjacent to the planned suburb of Panorama City to provide solid middle-class jobs to Valleyites — closed in 1992. Part of the site is now a shopping mall called The Plant. Listen at TAL website
The 1983 photo shows Cesar Chavez and then-state legislator Maxine Waters supporting workers at the Van Nuys plant. Click on the photo to enlarge.
Photo: Mike Sergieff / Herald Examiner collection / LAPL