Union Pacific confirms layoffs

‘Workforce reduction’ comes amid implementation of precision scheduled railroading

By Joanna Marsh for freightwaves.com

Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) confirmed that it has laid off employees across its network, although it didn’t provide details about how many were laid off and where.

The railroad attributed the “workforce reduction” to its broader efforts to implement precision scheduled railroading, an operational model that seeks to streamline operations. Union Pacific (UP) said the reduction affected both management and unionized employees across its 23-state system. 

“These are difficult decisions; however, we remain committed to providing our customers safe, efficient and reliable service that ensures Union Pacific remains a strong and competitive company,” UP said.

According to data that UP submitted to the Surface Transportation Board, UP employed about 32,820 workers in mid-July, which is the latest data available. That total is 2.2% higher than June’s total of 32,107, and 18.9% lower than July 2019’s total of 40,491.

July’s figure is also 10.1% lower than March’s total of 36,507, which is the month before rail volumes dipped sharply in April and May because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

A Union Pacific train heads to its next destination. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

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