GM Lays Off Some Workers at Buffalo Engine Plant

Facility makes engines for Shreveport Assembly Plant, which has shut down due to shortage of parts from Japan.

General Motors is laying off 59 of the 623 workers at its Tonawanda Engine Plant in Buffalo, N.Y., the latest aftershock for the automaker in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan.

The plant produces engines for several GM vehicles, including the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups, both of which are assembled in Shreveport, La. GM has suspended production at the Shreveport Assembly Plant this week because of a shortage of parts from Japan.

"When you're not building the trucks, you don't need the engines that go into those trucks," GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter told IndustryWeek.

The 59 employees will receive unemployment benefits from the state, as well as supplemental unemployment pay that amounts to approximately 75% of their regular compensation.

Carpenter said GM doesn't know how long the layoffs will last.

"We hope to resume production as soon as possible," Carpenter said.

Earlier today, GM Korea said it will curtail production this week by up to 10% because of a possible lack of parts from Japan following the devastating earthquake.

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Follow IndustryWeek senior editor Josh Cable on Twitter at @JCable_IW .
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