Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Western New York, March 2009

Business Expansions

New this Month

About 60 laid-off workers at General Motors Corp.’s Town of Tonawanda (Erie Count) engine plant have been called back to work temporarily, as GM adjusts its work force levels to meet its production needs. The 60 are among about 460 hourly workers that are on layoff. How long the 60 workers will be back on the job is not yet known.

Former employees of the bankrupt Roadhouse Grill steak house chain are reopening the restaurant’s former Town of Tonawanda (Erie County) location under the new name Buffalo Roadhouse Grill. The casual restaurant will open March 17 with 50 employees

Business Contractions

New this Month

Five new hotels that were planned for Genesee Street in Cheektowaga (Erie County) across from the airport are indefinitely on hold. The value of the Canadian dollar, credit problems, the number of air travelers, and the number of hotel bookings, due to the economy are the reasons cited for the halting of the projects.

A $10 million North Buffalo (Erie County) retail project has been put on indefinite hold. Target Stores confirmed it has shelved plans for a complete remodel and expansion of its Delaware Avenue store. Plans had called for an 18,300-square-foot expansion.

Grace Manor Health Care Facility, which had been the region’s first African-American owned nursing home, will close in May. The nursing facility, which opened in 1998, has been struggling financially for years, due to inadequate Medicaid reimbursements. The closure has come as no surprise to the roughly 250 workers at the nursing home. About 150 are represented by Local 1199, Service Employees International Union.

General Motors Corp has made announcements about two products at its Town of Tonawanda (Erie County) engine plant. The automaker has placed an “indefinite hold” its plan to add a Duramax 4.5 liter V-8 diesel engine in 2010 into two of its trucks. That engine was to be made at the River Rd. site. About 100 workers would have been assigned to the diesel line and likely will remain on layoff until demand increases for the plant’s other engines. But, the plant will regain production of a 3.7-liter, Inline engine that had been transferred to a plant in Michigan in 2007. Production of that engine is set to resume this summer and will be filling 30 production jobs to build those engines.

The Paterson administration broke off a deal with Delaware North to develop a large casino at a downstate racetrack after the Buffalo (Erie County) company said it would be unable to meet a March 31 deadline to deliver a $370 million payment to the state for the exclusive rights to build the gambling hall. The deal would have added 50 jobs to the company’s Buffalo headquarters.

The merger of two area trucking terminals operated by Roadway and Yellow Transportation has resulted in about 70 layoffs. YRC Worldwide, announced last December that it would close its Roadway Express terminal in West Seneca this month and integrate its functions with Yellow’s terminal in Tonawanda. While layoffs were expected, the number was not clear until the merger took effect.

HealthNow New York, parent company of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, is cutting 19 more local jobs. This is the second time in as many months that the company has trimmed its workforce and officials said it likely will not be the last. Last month, HealthNow cut 17 employees, as restructuring made those positions unnecessary. The company is realigning how it functions and officials still plan to recruit for open positions.

DuPont has cut its Town of Tonawanda (Erie County) workforce by 29 jobs, less than the 45-55 jobs estimated by the company when it disclosed its plans for reductions last December.

Up to 50 hourly workers at Ford Motor Co.’s Woodlawn (Erie County) stamping plant are facing temporary layoffs of one-and two-week durations between now and late June. There are currently about 250 workers on temporary layoff this week (March 16-20) and there will be about 50 on temporary furlough next week (March 23-27).

American Steamship in Amherst (Erie County) is warning its crews that there may not be work for everyone this shipping season. The Buffalo-area Great Lakes shipping company employs 534 workers and has notified the New York State Department of Labor that layoffs may be coming, though it’s not yet known how many.

More than 11 percent of the current hourly workforce at plant (Erie County) have accepted a special buyout and early retirement offers. The 128 local workers are among 7,500 U.S. factory employees who have agreed to leave under a special attrition program aimed at shrinking the automaker’s workforce. The local plant has an hourly workforce of 1,100, including 400 on indefinite layoff. Most employees participating in the buyout program will leave the company by April 1. GM has said it will fill job openings with current employees whenever possible as spelled out in the provision of the industry-wide labor agreement with the UAW.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Workers from Ford’s stamping plant in Hamburg (Erie County) have approved contract concessions designed to help the struggling automaker survive March 8. UAW Local 897 represents about 770 hourly workers, backed the changes with 54 percent voting in favor. About 40 to 60 workers are on layoff due to lower production demands from the automaker.

A new deal at the Buffalo News (Erie County) will save jobs. Members of the Buffalo Newspaper Guild voted in favor of a tentative agreement. The deal is expected to save the paper almost $3 million in wage cuts and buyouts and spares all full-time journalism positions and six jobs in the circulation department.

Thanks for the feedback! It will help us improve your experience.