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Linamar To Lay Off Hundreds

Canadian auto parts maker plans to inform staff Thursday of hundreds of layoffs amid an economic slowdown that’s struck the automotive trade particularly hard.

GUELPH, Ont. (CP) -- Linamar Corp. planned to inform staff Thursday throughout the global auto parts and industrial machinery firm of hundreds of layoffs amid an economic slowdown that's struck the automotive and building trades particularly hard.

Linamar, with more than 12,000 employees in almost 40 plants, most in Guelph, wouldn't put an exact number on the layoffs.

"It is less than 1,000 across the organization," company spokeswoman Crystal Roberts said Wednesday afternoon.

While Roberts described the layoffs as temporary, she couldn't say when workers would be recalled.

"It will depend on when sales volumes pick up again," Roberts said. "We'll continue to assess that daily."

Roberts said Linamar responded previously to the economic downturn, exacerbated by a high Canadian dollar, by sharing workers between plants and shortening work weeks at times, but that hasn't been enough in the face of large cuts in vehicle production by the automakers.

"This is really difficult for us," Roberts said. "It's really hard for us to make that decision."

Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge said would have preferred Linamar reveal the extent of the company's job cuts "because everybody speculates."

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