• Wanna Hire On???

  • For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.
For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Uncle Pete, Chessie, Topper, and Warren want YOU:

Wall Street Journal

Fair Use:
America’s freight railroads are struggling to bring back workers, contributing to a slowdown in the movement of chemicals, fertilizer and other products that threatens to disrupt factory operations and hinder a rebound from the pandemic, according to shippers and trade groups.

The problems have attracted scrutiny from federal regulators, who have been concerned that cost cuts and new operational plans implemented across most freight railroads that have been celebrated on Wall Street have resulted in lackluster service for some customers.

“The railroads cannot strip down to bare-bones operations,” said Martin Oberman, chairman of the Surface Transportation Board. “It’d be like a professional football team only having one quarterback".
  by RRspatch
 
A little heads up for all you wanna be railroaders out there you might want to do so research first. Below is a list of the top WORST companies to work for in the US. Care to take a guess who's number 1?

https://moneywise.com/managing-money/em ... o-work-for

Oh and by the way be sure to check out who's number 2 and number 5.

The industry has really gone down hill since I hired on in 1977 and has gone even further down hill since 1996 when I jumped to BNSF. You might also read the comments over at the Wolf Street link I posted in the PSR thread. A LOT of railroaders jumped into that thread blowing up the comment numbers much higher than a normal WS article on that subject would have gotten.

Sadly I no longer recommend the railroad as a career choice .... unless I really hate that person ....

Good luck.

Happily retired and OUT.
  by eolesen
 
And yet it's still a career that thousands of people seek out each year and stick with for an average of 13+ years... o

It's a job that pays well for the education required, and you have some mobility around the country without sacrificing your benefits coverage to start over with a new employer.

Glassdoor (the source for that survey) is about as useful as going to YouTube for legal assistance. The only people who post there are former employees, and that's going to always poll negative.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
When I "hired on" with the MILW as a Management Trainee after graduating with an Accounting degree from Univ of Illinois during '70, it was "fun". Traveling about the, albeit moribund, railroad, as an Internal Auditor, taking photos of electric locomotives, traveling on my own with no boss breathing down me - it was fun - and I'm being paid "adequately to do it".

Now, after picking up my CPA, I'm essentially "locked in" to a role in the Finance Department with the rows of desks, the bosses in back where they can see you but you can't see them, something out of a Dickens or Sartre' novel!!!

Here comes an opportunity to join the Marketing (Traffic) Dept as an analyst, with many a travel opportunity (now to major cities). I let it be known I wanted to interview, but was "blocked" (are we going to let a CPA go to Marketing?). So I watched people behind me on the pay scale jump ahead.

That was '76, and it was never the same after that.

How I hung on until through the Bankruptcy (even three years in Labor Relations, which taught me Agreement employees care as much if not more than Management about "the Road" and ended with a purge that had me back to Internal Audit) and all the changes that brought about, my long time boss getting purged, someone come in from "the outside" (a "Final Four" firm) who I didn't fall in love with (or he me - even if we both had 'Nam on our military CV's), and I was shopping around to buy out a small CPA practice. December '81, I was gone; for better or worse, I was in business for myself - and of course the Boss.

I made it; new clients came to me by referral, so I never had to do much in the way of "marketing". I just did my job to take care of them - and they took care of me.

I fully retired during '17, or '16 "Tax Season" - never went to School on TCJA17 (Trump tax cut) Act.

I'm willing to take the word of those who are still hanging on in the Industry; meantime I watch my UNP "perform with the S&P" in my portfolio (I had BNI, NSC, KSU once upon a time; but I was "overweight" in the sector).
  by Shortline614
 
The Class Is are going on a hiring spree because of massive traffic increases and massive strains in the supply chain as our society begins to recover from COVID.

While I have no doubt in my mind that PSR has given railroads a reputation as "not a good place to work, blaming it as the sole reason for the railroad labor shortage ignores the larger picture. It has been well documented elsewhere that businesses all across the board are having trouble bringing people back. From retail to restaurants nearly everyone is experiencing a labor shortage of some kind. The transportation industry is not immune from this. Even the trucking companies are having trouble finding people to drive rigs. Warehouses don't have enough people to load and unload freight in a timely manor, same goes for intermodal and transload terminals. The recent backups of intermodal terminals are in large part caused by this, although the railroads sluggish service (looking at you Union Pacific) is a factor.

There are a few reasons for this. COVID still hasn't fully gone away and there are still people who are iffy about working anywhere other than home. Inflation is another big reason since as prices rise people will demand more for their work regardless of the current wages and salaries. In some cases people make more money sitting at home collecting welfare or unemployment checks than working.

I wouldn't entirely trust job rating sites because I've noticed that people will often go out of their way to complain rather than compliment. Still, I've seen many railroaders express similar sentiments, so there is undoubtedly a truth to it.

Note: The poster has never worked for a railroad. Neither does he know if he would want to work for one.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Shortline614 wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:40 pm COVID still hasn't fully gone away and there are still people who are iffy about working anywhere other than home. Inflation is another big reason since as prices rise people will demand more for their work regardless of the current wages and salaries. In some cases people make more money sitting at home collecting welfare or unemployment checks than working.
Off topic and off-rails, but quite relevant to Mr. Shortline's captioned point:

Yesterday, I went by a Steak N' Shake (a regional burger chain that I think even pre-COVID was walking on thin ice); it was open, but the Manager was handling the drive up window.

When I last went there about six weeks ago, it was just he standing out in front waving people off. Since "I kind of know the guy", I asked him what was going on. He said he was closed. Why?, "I can't get anyone to come in; they're all making more on unemployment than I can pay them." "Now aren't you required to be actively seeking work, to get benefits; here's their employer asking them to come back?". "Well, that's what the law says..but that's, well, what it says". "Good luck, Anthony".

Yesterday, he had rounded up three kids (FAIK, his) to work. The girl at the window (he right there obviously coaching her) said it was her first day. Says I "Well, you've got a good trainer and hopefully you'll choose to hang around".

Closing back on topic; the word is out that railroads only have their high pay to offer. Absent that, may as well go work for Spaceman Jeff. So much of our societal work ethic of "my Dad did this; put up with the crap for forty years, so can I" is gone.
  by eolesen
 
The unemployment benefits plaguing your Stake-N-Shake are a very serious issue all around... the Feds waived the provision to be actively looking for work at the beginning of the pandemic, and it's still not being enforced now that most of the country is back to open. I guess we'll have to wait until October 1 when the enhanced benefits cease.

That's hitting intermodal particularly hard because the drayage drivers are making more sitting at home than they are sitting in the yard waiting for a chassis.

Image