and Cindy Chavez
When the General Motors factory in Fremont closed in 1982, Debbie Williams grieved with her brothers and sisters in the United Auto Workers. The daughter of GM's first African American electrician at Oakland's Eastmont Fisher Body Plant, she had been through prior plant closings – and re-openings.
Now the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant – known as Nummi – is closed, too, despite producing cars that led the J.D. Power quality ratings with zero defects. Beyond its immediate economic impact, Nummi's April 1 closure poses a larger threat – the dissipation of a manufacturing sector anchored in the Bay Area and critical to the future economic success of the region and the nation.