WILLIAMSON - The economic decline that is affecting many jobs within the Tug Valley area has hit those employed with Norfolk Southern (NS) Railway yet again, as 10 Carmen and 1 Laborer in the Mechanical Department were furloughed, adding this number to the 26 train conductors with the Transportation Dept. that were laid-off from their jobs in October, 2012.
According to Robin Chapman, the Director of Public Relations with NS, the 11 men that were furloughed in the Williamson RR Yard is attributed to economic conditions that left their employer with no choice except to cut their number of employees.
“Seven Carmen who worked in the yard, 2 assigned to the road trucks and 1 general laborer received notices of furlough that will become effective Monday, Jan. 7th,” stated Chapman. When asked if he felt that more lay-offs were on the horizon, he said he could not speculate on that subject at this time. The Daily News also asked if these employees could exercise their seniority at another NS Railroad yard, and he replied that he was not certain, that it depends on what locations are within the seniority district and if they have positions available the furloughed workers would qualify for. Chapman commented that although there is a possibility that the workers could get recalled if the economy picks back up, he can offer no true assurance to any of those who were directly affected.
Bob Maloney, the Senior General Foreman for the NS Williamson Mechanical Dept. failed to return a call to the Daily News on Thursday, even though numerous messages were left for him requesting a comment.