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TONAWANDA ENGINE PLANT TO FURLOUGH 1,167 FOR WEEK

The auto production slowdown continues to hit home in Western New York.

General Motors will lay off 1,167 of its Tonawanda engine plant workers for one week starting Monday, said Dan Greene, a company spokesman.

The Tonawanda site will shut down its 2.2-liter engine production line for one week. The engine is used in vehicles such as the Pontiac Sunfire, Chevrolet Cavalier and some pickups.

The plant is also temporarily shutting down its 4.3-liter engine production line. That engine is used in a variety of pickups, vans and SUVs.

GM's nationwide sales in January declined 5 percent from a year earlier, and its January vehicle production in North America was 13 percent lower than it was for same month in 2000.

The automaker estimates its first-quarter North American production will be 2 percent less than it was a year earlier.

Across the border, GM is laying off 600 employees of its components plant in St. Catharines for one week, and 450 workers at its engine plant.

Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems in Lockport will lay off 80 of its workers for one week starting Monday, said Lindsey Williams, a company spokesman.

Last week, Delphi Harrison announced it was placing 260 of its workers on indefinite layoff, with no immediate plans to bring them back to work. None of those workers has been recalled, Williams said.

American Axle and Manufacturing has about 200 of its Western New York workers on layoff.

Ford Motor Co. has no layoffs planned for next week at its stamping plant in Buffalo, said Meera Kumar, a spokeswoman.

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