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Rail News: Labor

KCS continues to roll out workforce management system


Next week, Kansas City Southern will begin the second implementation phase of Enterprise Workforce Management (EWM), an automated timekeeping system designed to accurately compute workers' gross pay and manage employees' schedules.

The system will monitor train and engine-service (T&E) workers on the East St. Louis, Ill.-to-Kansas City, Mo., line, and system transportation center employees in Shreveport, La.

"Employees can count on more accurate paychecks because EWM will calculate payroll based on the applicable labor agreement and the tie up information reported electronically by the T&E employee," said Assistant Vice President of Finance Ron Ellifrits in a prepared statement. "Also, transportation management and front-line supervisors will receive reported labor costs within 48 hours of the end of a shift, allowing them to better manage daily operations."

Manually entered data provides KCS managers basic workforce information, such as when employees begin work or are available after rest periods. EWM enables managers to monitor how long crews are away from home and how much overtime pay they receive, as well as manage employee and rail-car schedules.

Later this year, KCS plans to begin the third EWM implementation phase involving workers on its Counce, Tenn.-to-Meridian, Miss., and Meridian-to-Shreveport lines.

In November, the Class I launched the first phase, which involved clerical workers at KCS' corporate headquarters and system-wide mechanical employees.

"A primary indicator of how well a system is working is feedback from employees," said KCS Vice President and Chief Mechanical Officer Jim Fisk. "Several months into use of EWM, we have received no complaints from the mechanical workforce about inaccuracy of paychecks, and little or no problems using the system."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/6/2004