Employee Furloughs and Auxiliary Work and Training Status
Global and domestic economic challenges impact demand for the products Union Pacific ships. As a result, fluctuating demand for train/yard service employees can cause some employees to be furloughed or placed on Auxiliary Work and Training Status (AWTS) boards.
We invest in our employees during a furlough to get them back to work as soon as possible. Through initiatives such as our AWTS agreements, furloughed employees on about 65 percent of our railroad are given the opportunity to work and train on a part-time basis. Often, it can take up to 90 days for an employee to complete the necessary refresher training and examinations when returning to work. The AWTS program helps employees maintain their training and proficiency while working on a part-time basis, thereby making it possible for them to return more quickly once they have been recalled to work. Employees taking advantage of this program retain full healthcare benefits and accrue service time toward Railroad Retirement benefits.