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8/6/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

UP to track TE&Y crews, payroll via computer program


To better manage crews and streamline payroll processes for 20,000 train, engine and yard workers, Union Pacific Railroad plans by year end to begin implementing Crew Management and Timekeeping System (CMTS), computer software designed to electronically track employees' hours and control crew schedules.


UP recently contracted Union Pacific Corp. subsidiary Timera Inc. to develop CMTS, which would include a decision-table platform to implement labor-agreement changes affecting calling procedures and pay rules, and incorporate individual employee variables, such as union seniority, craft or position, work location, and job assignment and status.


"This system will provide our crew dispatchers with the most information possible when speaking to an employee on the phone," said Julian Caldwell II, UP director and CMTS project leader for crew management, in a prepared statement.


Through CMTS, crew members would electronically enter their end-of-shift reports, pay information and other data — information that currently is either phoned in or submitted through separate processes.


UP over the past two years has been benchmarking other railroads to develop CMTS, which currently is being tested. The railroad plans to roll out the system in phases across its network, beginning in late 2002.


UP in the future might integrate CMTS with other technologies, such as Web-enabled crew rooms and an outbound Automated Voice Response (AVR) system that mechanizes crew dispatching.


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