BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – The chairman of BNSF Railway says about 4,600 railroad employees are furloughed nationwide due to declining oil prices and a reduced demand for coal.
Matthew Rose spoke Wednesday during the Montana Energy conference in Billings, according to the Billings Gazette.
Rose said the furloughs amount to about 10 percent of the railroad’s workforce, about the same level of furloughs it had in 2007 and 2008 – the beginning of the Great Recession. He also said the Fort Worth-based company has stopped hiring and is offering buyouts to older employees.
Rose said that railroad industry volumes overall were down 3 percent in 2015 and BNSF is bracing for a few tough years.