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Rail News: Labor
Five Class Is among G.I. Jobs' top 100 military friendly employers
Five Class Is have landed on G.I. Jobs magazine's list of the top 100 military friendly employers for 2013, and two are in the top 10. CSX Corp. is ranked No. 2; BNSF Railway Co., No. 5; Union Pacific Railroad, No. 13; Norfolk Southern Corp., No. 32; and CN, No. 44.
The list's selection criteria includes the strength of a company's military recruiting efforts, the percentage of new hires with prior military service and a company's policies on National Guard and military reserve service.
UP now has been ranked on the list for the 10th time in the past 11 years by "one of the nation's premier career guides for military job seekers," UP officials said in a prepared statement.
About 23 percent of UP's new hires this year, or 800 in total, are military veterans. Overall, veterans comprise 20 percent of the Class I's workforce and 24 percent of new hires in the past five years.
The railroad's reservist policy compensates the difference between military and company pay for employees called to duty, and continues to provide health plan benefits for dependents when employees are deployed. The Class I also offers UPVETS, an employee resource group devoted to attracting, developing and retaining employees who are military veterans.
"We take great pride in employing military veterans," said UP Senior Vice President of Human Resources Barb Schaefer. "Military training instills dedication and a goal-oriented work ethic that translates very well to the railroad."
BNSF now has made the top 100 list for the eighth time. The Class I's recruitment program provides outreach to service members transitioning from the military to a corporate culture. The railroad also offers enhanced and extended benefits, make-whole pay and company-provided sustained health care benefits for deployed service members employees and family members.
In addition, BNSF offers a career web site dedicated to military staffing and a full-time employee — Manager of Military Staffing John Wesley, a U.S. Army first sergeant and combat engineer — who's responsible for connecting service members to BNSF career opportunities.
"Since 2005, we have hired more than 5,000 veterans [who] embody the principles of railroading — safety mindedness, efficient performance under diverse work conditions, respect for policy and procedures, mission focus, teamwork and service to country," said BNSF President and Chief Operating Officer Carl Ice.
G.I. Jobs' top 100 list also includes General Electric Co. at No. 9, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. at No. 10 and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. at No. 78.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.