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The new year will start off with a two-week extension on holiday vacations for about 41,650 auto workers as the Big Three automakers continue a shutdown because of big inventories and low orders.

In Western New York, however, most of the more than 3,000 workers on temporary layoff this week will be recalled as scheduled when the vacation period ends Jan. 2.

Elsewhere in the nation, General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Corp. will shut 17 assembly plants for the three-production-day week of Jan. 2. All Ford Motor Co. assembly plants will operate that week; all GM and Chrysler plants will remain closed through the week of Jan. 7 except for GM's in Wilmington, Del.

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