• Regaining Amtrak Employment

  • General discussion about working in the railroad industry. Industry employers are welcome to post openings here.
General discussion about working in the railroad industry. Industry employers are welcome to post openings here.

Moderator: thebigc

  by Acela150
Question about regaining employment with Amtrak.

Back in January I hired out to work for Amtrak in their call center in Philadelphia. I had to miss a day of training to go to a mandatory family court date relating to issues with my children. I attempted to notify my training supervisor the day before that I would not be at the call center. FYI at this point we were performing on the job training and could miss a day of work. No supervisor was available for me to tell. And they oddly enough did not tell us who to call let alone give us a phone number to call. My supervisor called me and asked for an explanation of why I wasn't at work. She was ok with the reason I gave. But I got a phone call back from her 10 minutes later saying that management said that I couldn't come back. I asked why that one could miss days of training for jury duty, but not a mandatory court date. The two go together. I was given a reason that I don't believe.

I didn't put up a huge fight cause I knew that someday I would like to return to Amtrak. When I turned my Amtrak ID in the person said that they'd love to have me back as I was a great student, gave great info when I could, was always early by 5 or more minutes and was never late.

Amtrak recently posted a T&E job out of DC and I did apply and contact HR. I have a contact number for them from a few years ago. I spoke with someone who looked up my old employee number and told me that I was under the "not eligible for rehire list". Which surprised and didn't surprise me. He told me what I should do to try to rectify that. Which was contact my old supervisor explain what happened and asked to have that status changed. My old supervisor agreed to change the status.

Which leads to a million dollar question. How hard will it be to regain employment with Amtrak? I have a friend and old co-worker from NS who wrote me a glowing letter of recommendation. Said person currently is a dispatcher in Wilmington for Amtrak.

I should mention that the HR Contact does seem to want to help me and when he pulled up my career profile seemed interested in my resume.

Any tips and honesty is appreciated.
  by SlotCanyoneer
Have you heard any new updates on this? Did they change your status to something other than "Do not rehire"? Were you in the union yet or still in a probation period? If you weren't in the union yet you may have no recourse. Your situation is really unfortunate. I really feel for you. I'm really surprised they didn't give you ANY supervisor contact info. If they didn't give you a phone number to call out maybe you should have tried to take initiative and ask for a call out number. Either that or at least have a main number where you could eventually get in contact with management. Surely things come up with people being ill or emergencies happening. They have to account for that. I wouldn't have felt comfortable not reporting for work without at least SOMEONE having knowledge that I wouldn't be there. Even if it meant just leaving a voicemail message. If it was a court date wouldn't you have had advance notice by mail from the court? Court dates I have been notified of usually have been at least a few weeks out from when I receive the letter. For child support matters anyways. I hope things work out and you can possibly get rehired. I've been applying with Amtrak since the beginning of 2017. Finally got an interview with them this past October only to get shot down. Dealing with this company has kind of got me thinking that I should simply move on. They seem a bit disorganized. They also don't seem to have a clue who they want for a job. For example, the job I interviewed for was basically the same tasks I had been doing with my current employer for almost four years. I also had two years of relevant experience on top of that with a previous employer. Also had some railroad experience years ago. Good luck!
  by Acela150
I have heard on the matter. Kinda...

So as I stated in my OP, my old supervisor did agree to change my re-hire status. Which is good news. I am in contact with my HR Contact in DC about once a week to follow up to see if it has changed on their end. Which so far it hasn't. I did send a follow up email to my old supervisor at the suggestion of HR to see why it's taken so long to change.

At that point in training like I said we were allowed to miss one day of training.

My choice was simple relating the day I missed. Go to the Family Court and miss a day of work. Or go to work and not go to court and go to jail. The City of Philadelphia is very strict on the matter.

As for getting shot down on the first try.. That's not exactly rare or shocking. I started at NS 3 years ago almost 4 as a Conductor. I got hired at the first hiring session I went to for them cause I was a certified conductor through the Modoc Railroad Academy. But the year before that I interviewed with Conrail Shared Assets in South Jersey, I didn't get the job. So pretty much my second try I got hired. I had two interviews with Amtrak before I got hired. The first was for a block operator job in Philadelphia. The second I got hired which was the Call Center job.

Bottom line.. Don't give up and keep trying. Amtrak especially has gotten IMO easier to get into since they started giving their Pre-Requisite testing online. It quickly and effectively eliminates people they shouldn't hire.