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SATURN IDLES ASSEMBLY LINE

General Motors Corp. has once again idled its small-car assembly line here, despite plans to spend nearly $3 billion to almost double sales at its Saturn division in the next three years.

The two-week shutdown of the Ion model production line that started Monday comes about a month after the company pared the Ion assembly team to two shifts from three in an effort to balance production to sales.

Mike Herron, chairman of United Auto Workers Local 1853, which represents workers at the plant, said no one has been laid off because of the shift change or shutdown.

The plant continues to operate under a contract that doesn't allow layoffs under normal business conditions. A new contract that starts Jan. 1 ends the no-layoff provision.