CFC’s Richard Holober Named to Toyota/NUMMI Blue Ribbon Commission

Commission hearing slated for Wednesday, February 24, 10am (PST)

As Toyota executives appear before congressional hearings investigating the auto maker’s safety problems, California Treasurer Bill Lockyer has named Richard Holober, Consumer Federation of California Executive Director, to serve on a Blue Ribbon Commission to study the impact of the planned closing of the Fremont NUMMI plant on the state’s economy.

The Commission will meet on Wednesday February 24 at 10 am at the state office building: 505 Van Ness Avenue, Hearing Room D, San Francisco (PUC Hearing Room)

Toyota’s announcement in August 2009 of its plans to shut down its highly praised NUMMI plant in Fremont and relocate in another state has generated widespread alarm about the devastation this action would mean for the state, which accounts for a large percent of the company’s U.S. sales.

The closure would idle the plant’s more than 5,000 employees — making it the largest mass layoff since the start of the Great Recession — and another 50,000 California workers at companies up and down the supply chain for the factory, which has been rated year after year by J.D. Powers as a model operation.

Accepting the appointment, Holober stated, ‘Consumer confidence in the Toyota brand has been deeply shaken by revelations about manufacturing defects that endanger the lives of motorists and their loved ones. Toyota would only compound its troubles in California – its largest consumer market ‘ if it closes a plant that has won several JD Power awards for production quality.’

The Lockyer Commission will hear testimony on the impact of the proposed closure on workers, communities and California’s economy, and explore options for keeping the plant viable.

Other Commissioners named by Lockyer include:

Professor Harley Shaiken, UC Berkeley
Bob Wasserman, Mayor of Fremont
Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, Presbyterian Church USA
Victor Uno, Chairman, Port of Oakland
Bruce Kern, Executive Director, East Bay Economic Development Alliance
Carl Pope, President, Sierra Club
Nina Moore, Fremont Chamber of Commerce
Art Pulaski, Chief Officer, California Labor Federation
Danny Glover, Actor.