Amtrak may layoff non-union workers

Amtrak may lay off non-union workers to cut costs and increase funding to such projects as an upgraded reservations system, a spokesman said.

Amtrak last month offered voluntary buyouts to management employees and is still reviewing the results. If the railroad decides it needs additional savings, it will begin "involuntary separations" for some management employees, spokesman Steve Kulm said.

The railroad has about 3,000 non-union workers in its 20,500-person workforce.

Although Amtrak ridership has set records for eight of the last nine years, federal funding for rail operations was cut by Congress for the fiscal year that started Oct. 1. And all money for high-speed rail projects in the fiscal year was eliminated.

Amtrak is reorganizing its internal structure with a new high-speed rail plan for the Northeast Corridor expected early next year.

"We need to realign our work force to meet those goals and priorities," Kulm said. "And we understand our uncertain funding situation."

Amtrak does not plan to reduce service or lay off union employees, he said.

Kulm declined to say how much money Amtrak seeks to save with the job cuts.

He said Amtrak planned to shift more money to such long-term capital projects as an upgraded reservations system, new passenger cars and locomotives, and a nationwide rollout of e-ticketing.

Source: Sacbee