War on Coal Pain Continues: Region to feel brunt of CSX layoffs

10700756_926235410737765_5408157025333664825_oFROM THE HERALD-DISPATCH
Jul. 17, 2015 @ 07:02 AM
HUNTINGTON – Citing continued weakness in its coal markets, CSX announced a 1 percent reduction in its workforce for the third quarter of 2015 with a majority of the 600 employees being cut from its Huntington division.

“CSX aims to match workforce needs with general business demand, and therefore CSX is furloughing some contract employees,” said Kaitlyn Barrett, from CSX’s corporate communications office. “Most of the furloughed employees operate trains, either as locomotive engineers or conductors.” CSX’s Huntington Division spans Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio.

“Furloughed employees are assigned priority status for job openings elsewhere at CSX in areas where traffic volumes are higher,” Barrett said.

The Associated Press has reported the furloughs will be through a combination of layoffs and attrition.
Coal volume is expected to drop 15 percent as export demand remains weak and U.S. utilities have large coal stockpiles on hand, according to the Associated Press. Drilling for natural gas and crude oil has slowed because of the current low prices.

CSX Chairman and CEO Michael Ward told the Associated Press he thinks the railroad did a good job improving what it could control as it dealt with challenging energy markets.

“We had good efficiency, we had good pricing and good service improvements during the quarter, so we were happy with the path,” Ward said.

CSX operates more than 21,000 miles of track in 23 Eastern states and two Canadian provinces.

Follow reporter Brandon Roberts on Twitter @brobertsHD.

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