CSX continues cuts, botches relocation of train dispatchers
23 November 2017
CSX, one of the largest four railroads in America, has undergone a series of disastrous changes since a hedge-fund backed asset stripper, Hunter Harrison, was installed as CEO in March. Recently, it has emerged that a miscommunication about the relocation of hundreds of train dispatchers to Florida has left several dispatchers sleeping in their cars, without housing.
In June, a CSX memo announced that train dispatchers, who control rail traffic, would be consolidated in the company’s Jacksonville, Florida headquarters between August and October. Later, CSX updated the relocation timeline to January, with officials claiming they did not know where the June notice came from, although they admitted it was posted in Atlanta, Georgia dispatching offices.
The miscommunication and change of plans is typical of the past eight months, where workers and even managers have constantly faced wildly changing operational plans and job assignments, combined with thousands of layoffs and wide-scale closures of facilities. Morale has plummeted to the lowest depths, and poor service to customers has prompted a Congressional hearing.
In the case of dispatchers, the changing plans left the lives of some upended. They spent thousands of dollars on selling their homes, breaking their leases, paying for storage, travel for themselves and families, and a range of other moving-related expenses. Spouses sometimes had to give up work, and children had their schooling and extracurricular activities interrupted. Dispatchers were not provided time off for the moves, and had to take vacation and sick days to do it.
Then, with their…