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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF eliminates 332 jobs at three locomotive shops

On Jan. 13, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway eliminated 332 jobs at three locomotive shops.
The railroad notified shop employees that it will immediately furlough 248 of 388 workers in West Burlington, Iowa; 64 of 367 in Topeka, Kan.; and 20 of 105 in Seattle.
During the past three years, BNSF implemented condition-based maintenance (CBM) for its locomotive fleet, which decreased the need for overhauls and heavy repair work, according to a prepared statement. Using CBM, the railroad can better predict locomotive-component wear and schedule routine maintenance, reducing traditional time-based component change outs.
During the past six years, BNSF also acquired more than 1,800 new locomotives and retired older, higher maintenance units, which reduced annual maintenance requirements, the railroad said.
Because the layoffs affect more than one-third of West Burlington's workforce, BNSF is required to give employees 60 calendar days' notice under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Affected machinists, electricians, sheet-metal workers, boilermakers, laborers, carmen and structures employees will receive pay and benefits through March 15.
Affected workers in Seattle and Topeka will be paid through Jan. 18 in accordance with a five-day notice period required under union contracts, BNSF said.
The Class I plans to hold a career transition workshop for affected West Burlington and Topeka employees.

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More News from 1/13/2003