CSX admits workforce reduction in Pike
Despite a statement last week that a reduction in operations in Erwin, Tennessee would not affect its operations in Pike County, CSX has reduced the workforce at the Shelby, Ky., yard by 15 positions, a company spokesperson said.
However, Melanie Cost, CSX corporate communications officer, said the layoffs were not a result of the Erwin reduction, but simply a move to match its resources with the needs of its customers.
“CSX did reduce about 15 transportation positions at Shelby, part of the company’s focus on matching network resources with demand,” Cost said.
She said the reduction is the result of a reduced market for coal transport.
“We have declined coal traffic,” Cost said. “We’ve seen significant declines in the coal traffic in the past four or five years. So, we are trying to make sure we have all the right people in all the right places.”
The Shelby Yard still has roughly 25 employees, Cost said, and those employees who were affected have been “redeployed” into new jobs within two hours proximity of Shelby.
“The folks who were affected in Shelby were conductors and engineers, the people who are running the trains,” Cost said. “When they are relocated, they are doing the same jobs.”
However, when those employees work at new locations, they qualify, or learn those routes, by working them without pay, Cost said.
“It is true that most employees are qualifying on their own time, because that is dictated by the terms of their union collective bargaining agreement, not a CSX policy,” Cost said.
CSX said it has not reduced its workforce elsewhere in Eastern Kentucky, but did not rule out the possibility.
“We don’t have announcements (of additional reductions) at this time,”Cost said, “But we are constantly looking at our resources, continually evaluating to make sure people, locomotives and railcars are in the right place.
By Julia Roberts