News & Reviews News Wire Norfolk Southern cutting 7% of management and staff positions

Norfolk Southern cutting 7% of management and staff positions

By Bill Stephens | January 25, 2024

Company informed employees today, with public announcement coming on Friday morning

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ATLANTA — Norfolk Southern told employees today that it will eliminate 7% of its management and staff positions as a cost-cutting move.

The railroad is set to publicly announce the cutbacks during its fourth-quarter earnings call on Friday morning. NS is offering voluntary severance packages to eligible employees, according to people familiar with the matter. Roughly 300 positions will be eliminated.

Norfolk Southern’s earnings have taken a hit from inflation, a soft freight market, and costs related to cleanup of the Feb. 3, 2023, derailment and hazardous materials spill in East Palestine, Ohio.

The railroad is maintaining its commitment to not furloughing train crews during downturns, however, as part of its strategy to provide more consistent, reliable, and resilient service over the long term, according to people familiar with the matter.

A Norfolk Southern spokesman declined to comment.

9 thoughts on “Norfolk Southern cutting 7% of management and staff positions

  1. Looks like NS has to find a way to cover the 1.1 Billion they have forked out because of East Palestine, not to mention the other derailments in the last couple of years that the government has hammered them over…

    Trouble is. taking safety seriously would have saved them more than that total by keeping trains on the tracks in the first place, not to mention having enough crews so everyone gets real rest and not the fake rest the railroads say their people are getting…

  2. What little institutional knowledge remaining will be gone. Don’t forget that NS, like other railroads, took a meat ax to management during the Hunter-“PSR” days not long ago. Something needs to be done about the corporate Lampreys sucking the industry dry.

  3. Not mentioned in the article and perhaps not relevant nowadays, “back in the day”, Craft employees who were promoted to salaried positions continued to hold seniority on division rosters and were able to bid back onto the Craft positions.
    Hope this is still the case. Perhaps more knowledgeable folks can clarify if this arrangement still exists.

    1. It’s called a trainmaster having ground seniority, it still exists. There are some terminals with more managers than their are yard jobs, and now since they are back in “kinder gentler” mode, trainmasters aren’t supposed to be out playing games with trying to fire crews, now they just harp on people for attendance relentlessly. There is still a massive shortage of train crews, it just doesn’t make the news anymore.

  4. I believe that’s a better choice than cutting 7% of the train service employees.
    NS could cut senior management, i.e., AVPs and up with minor impacts, maybe even improved result. I seen some “faddish” titles in official directories and wonder what those people contribute to the bottom line – safety, service, and financial excellence.

    1. Sometimes the right positions get cut, sometimes office politics prevail and the wrong ones are let go. At least they aren’t cutting the ones actually running or servicing the trains.

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