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Food Supply Trouble Pinned on Railroad ‘Negligence,’ Layoffs

By Admin

Reported by Lillianna Byington for Bloomberg Government.

Labor unions are blaming freight railroad operators for cutting employees to streamline operations, contributing to rail delays and straining the nation’s food and energy supply chains.

Worker shortages caused by layoffs have hurt the U.S. economy by delaying freight rail shippers, the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO told the Surface Transportation Board rail regulator in a letter released Tuesday. It specifically called out grain companies’ concerns about disruption on tracks operated by Union Pacific Corp., Burlington Northern Santa Fe, and Norfolk Southern Corp.

Rail labor unions, along with agriculture and energy shippers, say precision-scheduled railroading has allowed for leaner operations, but at the expense of job cuts and service problems. PSR is a strategy used by railroads to streamline their operations by adjusting their scheduling and using fewer rail cars.

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