Union Pacific announced Monday that it will be cutting salaries and forcing workers to take unpaid leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This action came just prior to the railroad reporting a strong first-quarter result for 2020. Despite its actions to save dollars, Union Pacific stays committed to worker safety.

Cuts in Salaries

As of April 21st, Union Pacific Corp. planned to cut the salaries of senior executives by 25%. The company is also requiring its non-union workers to take unpaid time off. Both decisions were made in response to a drop in shipping volume due to the coronavirus.

The salary cut will apply from May through August. The non-union workers must take one week of unpaid leave each month during the same stretch of time. The company has approximately 37,000 workers and 85% are represented by unions.

Union Pacific showed a 24% decrease in the number of carloads and intermodal containers just last week, as compared with a year ago. The company’s shipping volume is also down 22% in the second quarter.

Despite these numbers, though, the railroad reported today a strong first quarter for 2020. It showed a first quarter net income of $1.5 billion, or $2.15 per diluted share. This compares to $1.4 billion, or $1.93 per diluted share, in the first quarter 2019.

Committed to Worker Safety

Union Pacific commented on the “Status of the Railroad” on April 1st. The comment came from Kenny Rocker, EVP, Marketing & Sales. The report expressed the railroad’s ongoing commitment to the safety of its employees.

The company’s latest safety precautions include:

  • Having employees work remotely
  • Mitigating potential exposures
  • Working with appropriate agencies

As to mitigation efforts, note that the company has stated that it has been disinfecting facilities and equipment to protect employees. In addition, any employees that became infected with the Coronavirus either are currently being quarantined or have been quarantined.

Further, with regards to appropriate agencies, the railway reports that it continues to stay in constant contact with both federal agencies and state and local officials. Communications focus on evolving public health developments and efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

 We are Here to Help!

No one these days can take their health and safety for granted. This is especially true in a labor-intensive industry like the railroad. While railways like Union Pacific may be re-affirming their commitment to worker safety, risks still abound.

Injured workers, or railroad employees facing unnecessary risks, cannot keep quiet. Do what’s right and contact our experienced railroad injury lawyers now to report an injury, safety concern, or medical condition that you experienced on the job. At Rossi Vucinovich PC, our talented railway lawyers have 50+ years of experience successfully representing injured railroad workers and their families. We are here for you now and tomorrow, guaranteed.