KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Union Pacific is cutting jobs at the Armourdale Yard in KCK, less than three months after employees were laid off at its Neff Yard on the other side of the state line.
“Union Pacific today reduced operations in its Armourdale Yard in Kansas City, Kansas. Work performed at Armourdale will be shifted to Union Pacific’s 18th St. Yard,” company spokesman Tim McMahan confirmed.
Back in October, about 200 workers lost their jobs at the rail company’s Neff Yard in Kansas City’s Old Northeast neighborhood.
McMahan said Armourdale Yard would remain open but wasn’t able to provide details on how many workers, if any, would remain employed there.
But a union leader representing local Union Pacific employees said the yard is being shut down.
“This morning, I received a phone call, about 7 a.m., from my officers at the local there in Kansas City. A bulletin was posted in the Armourdale Yard office saying that after today the yard would be closed and the jobs would be abolished,” said Ty Dragoo, the Kansas Legislative Director for transportation union SMART.
Dragoo estimates that at least 20 people will lose their job, but it could be as many as 100.
“We were told these yard jobs would be absorbed in Armourdale on 18th Street, but we don’t know. We’re looking at anywhere between 20 and 100 jobs,” he said.
“Union Pacific is railroading the community and Union Pacific is railroading taxpayers,” Dragoo said. “Kansas City has always been a railroading community, and I think it’s time that we as a society, we go to our elected officials and we say, ‘Are we going to keep incentivizing Union Pacific, which is making a billion dollars a quarter in profit? Are we going to keep giving them our tax dollars if they keep doing this to our friends and our neighbors?'”
Union Pacific said the changes at its local yards are part of its Unified Plan 2020 to streamline operations.
In October, Dragoo told FOX4 the plan is all about Precision Scheduled Railroading, or PSR, a term coined by Wall Street that really means doing more with less to increase profits for shareholders.
You can read Union Pacific’s full statement below:
“Union Pacific today reduced operations in its Armourdale Yard in Kansas City, Kansas. Work performed at Armourdale will be shifted to Union Pacific’s 18th St. Yard. Union Pacific will continue to evaluate service products based on customer needs.
“While we don’t provide data regarding the number of employees at specific facilities, I can confirm employee levels will be impacted as a result of streamlining our work. These steps are part of Unified Plan 2020, which streamlines operations as we ensure Union Pacific remains a strong and competitive company.”