Idled Toyota Workers Improve City Parks

Hundreds of Toyota Motor workers are cleaning up city parks in San Antonio, Texas, while their plant is idle.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Hundreds of Toyota Motor Corp. workers are cleaning up city parks while their plant is idle.

Toyota shut down its Tundra pickup truck plant here last month and will not produce new trucks until November, but it continues to pay its 2,000 full-time employees during the lull. Some took vacation, but others took the company up on the offer to work at city parks.

As many as 340 employees from the plant and its onsite suppliers will work in city parks this week and another week in October.

"We asked who wanted to go, and we got more than 1,000 volunteers," said Dan Antis, Toyota's general manager for production, as he oversaw work crews at Brackenridge Park. "It was amazing. We couldn't take that many, but it's a good problem to have."

The workers are trimming vegetation and repainting tables and trash cans, while they await the reopening of the plant. It will restart with the 2009 model after poor sales of full-size trucks led the company to end production of the 2008 model early.

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