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GM recalls 59 workers to Tonawanda engine plant

It is back to work for 59 employees at General Motors' Town of Tonawanda engine plant who were laid off in a ripple effect from Japan's post-disaster woes.

The 59 workers, represented by the United Auto Workers, were placed on layoff last Monday. They will return to their jobs Monday, the automaker announced Friday.

The callback comes as GM resumes production at an assembly plant in Shreveport, La., which makes the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado pickup trucks. The Tonawanda plant ships Inline 4- and 5-cylinder engines to the site.

GM temporarily shut the Louisiana plant last Monday, citing a shortage of parts supplied from Japan, where businesses have been disrupted by the earthquake and tsunami that struck the country two weeks ago.

GM has not identified the parts or the name of the supplier. But the temporary shutdown meant the Shreveport plant didn't need engines from Tonawanda, triggering the local layoffs.

"Although GM continues to monitor the situation in Japan, the company wants to resume production at the [Louisiana] plant to support our customers," GM said in a statement.

GM didn't elaborate on how it resolved the parts problem. "We aren't providing any details about parts or suppliers other than to say we have the material we need to resume production on Monday," said Kim Carpenter, a GM spokeswoman, in a statement.

e-mail: mglynn@buffnews.com

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