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100 MORE WORKERS LAID OFF AT DELPHI HARRISON

Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems said Friday it will place about 100 more employees at its Lockport plant on indefinite layoff, citing the continued slowdown in the automotive market.

The plant, which makes auto radiators and air conditioner components, will also have 80 employees on temporary layoff for next week, said Lindsey Williams, a spokesman. Companywide, 6,600 Delphi employees will be on temporary layoff next week.

"We have not seen the automotive market bounce back that would justify the current manning levels," Williams said of the latest indefinite layoffs at Lockport.

The plant now has a total of 360 workers on indefinite layoff -- employees which the company says it has no immediate plans to bring back to work. It placed the other 260 employees on indefinite layoff in late January.

Parts suppliers such as Delphi have been hit hard by a slowdown in nationwide auto sales that began late last year. The automakers have scaled back production to try to reduce inventories on dealer lots.

General Motors Corp. said this week it will periodically idle 14 North American assembly plants through June, affecting thousands of workers as the automaker continues paring production in light of slackened U.S. sales.

The temporary closings will affect nearly half of the world's largest automaker's 29 North American assembly plants, including some in Michigan, Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, as well as Canadian plants in Ontario and Quebec and in Mexico.

GM also plans to slow car and truck assembly indefinitely at four plants, including the Detroit-area Orion Township one where the Oldsmobile Aurora, Pontiac Bonneville, Buick Park Avenue and Buick LeSabre are made.

While GM did not immediately specify the number of workers affected by the plant idlings ranging from one to five weeks in duration, the automaker said the factories have more than 37,000 hourly workers and 3,000 salaried ones.

GM confirmed it will idle its Lansing Craft Center for four weeks starting May 21, looking to cut inventories of Cadillac Eldorado coupes.

Laid-off members of the United Auto Workers union will receive 95 percent of their take-home pay under their contract, while employees belonging to the Canadian Auto Workers will get 65 percent of their salary.

Williams said it's not yet clear how those idlings will affect employment at the Lockport Delphi plant.

Locally, GM will have about 750 people on temporary layoff at its engine plant in Tonawanda for one week starting Monday, said Dan Greene, a company spokesman. The affected workers are primarily from the plant's four-cylinder engine lines.

Ford Motor Co.'s stamping plant in Hamburg has no layoffs planned for next week, said Meera Kumar, a spokeswoman.

American Axle and Manufacturing placed a total of about 200 employees on layoff at its Buffalo gear and axle plant and its Tonawanda forge earlier this year but has since recalled some of those workers. An exact figure was not available Friday.

This report includes material from The Associated Press.

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