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Norfolk Southern furloughed approximately 130 locomotive shop workers, ranging from electricians to boilermakers, in Roanoke, Va. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union representative Shannon Spotswood does not think the workers released on Sept. 3 will be called back. In Altoona, Pa., 100 people were let go that were part of the Juniata Locomotive Shop.
Precision schedule railroading and other forms of rail technology continue to take a toll on employees. Norfolk Southern says a decreased demand for locomotive repair led to the furlough announcement. The Class 1 wants to operate fewer locos moving forward.
Norfolk Southern has now trimmed payroll three times in the Roanoke area, and the latest is the deepest. In April the freight railroad company let go 45 employees, while in May 10-15 lost their jobs. Norfolk Southern now has 920 workers in Roanoke, where not too long ago there were almost 1,800. About 750 are employed in Altoona.
Norfolk Southern did say there is a chance the furloughed employees could find other work within the company, but most believe only a handful will be transplanted.
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