April 7, 2017
Vice President, Transportation
P.O. Box 961034
Fort Worth, TX 76161-0034
We understand that this year, and last, have been especially challenging for BNSF. Economic conditions and business forecasts are changing and, while we appreciate that your team is attempting to address employee shortages around the system, we expect crew availability to remain critically tight for the next several months; and perhaps longer. Understandably, our members are frustrated. In many locations, our pools are exhausted, our extra boards are exhausted, and our members are exhausted.
In an attempt to offer some relief to our members, effective immediately, we will be issuing instructions to all engineers who are in detached service to return to the craft and place on an
assignment. We understand that some detached positions are required by our agreements.
Therefore, the following positions will not be affected.
• Safety Coordinators
• Safety Specialist
All other detached engineers will be expected to comply with our instructions.
In addition, to relieve some of the pressure on our crew base, we will be asking our members to limit “company business” layoffs to those required under our agreements. At locations where we have agreed to establish Division Site Safety Committees, we will continue to participate in those meetings. Participation in other meetings will be curtailed until such time as we have adequate personnel to cover such layoffs.
This does not in any way affect our commitment to safety or training. We simply feel that under the current circumstances, our members will be better served with “all hands on deck”. We strongly support all the programs in which we are mutually engaged and we look forward to resuming participation when conditions allow.
General Chairman BNSF/MRL