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Union Pacific furloughs about 900 workers as shipments slow

May 29, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Union Pacific has furloughed about 900 railroad workers because shipping demand has been weaker than expected.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based railroad said last month that it had begun reducing rail crews and storing some locomotives because shipping volume had been weaker than expected this year.

Union Pacific spokesman Aaron Hunt said the recent furloughs were also part of the railroad's effort to align its workforce with the current market.

The number of shipments Union Pacific has been delivering so far this year is down about 3 percent, which includes a 30 percent drop in coal carloads.

The Association of American Railroads says rail traffic nationwide is down less than 1 percent, but coal shipments are nearly 7 percent lower.

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