Auxiliary Work and Training Status
When an employee surplus occurs, in lieu of furloughs, about 60 percent of train and yard employees are covered under AWTS agreements, which guarantee employees eight work or training days per month, continued full healthcare benefits and accrual of service time toward Railroad Retirement. In addition to providing for our employees, AWTS helps the company by allowing employees to remain current on training and maintain their proficiency, thereby allowing them to return to full-time work faster when the demand returns.
Growing Volumes, Surge Resources
In 2014, we handled 7 percent more volume than in 2013, and we overcame weather-related delays. Maintaining a ready workforce and surge resources – locomotives and equipment – was crucial in handling the increased volume.
In fact, we ran nearly as many annual carloads as our all-time high in 2006, but we did it more than 2 mph faster. To put that in perspective, operating an average of 1 mph faster is the equivalent of adding 150 to 200 locomotives and 100 to 200 or more train, engine and yard employees.
Transporting goods on time is crucial for customer satisfaction, and the AWTS program, unique in the industry, gave Union Pacific a ready pool of talent to call back to work when volumes surged.