By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):
Downtown Needles, California: Loved ones of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway employees are protesting at Santa Fe Park against the new attendance policy.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) is the largest railroad company in North America, with over 35,000 employees, and the new attendance policy went into effect on Monday, February 1st, 2022.
The policy called the Hi-Viz creates a point system for days taken off; each employee would be given 30 points for the rest of their career but would be docked points for taking off weekdays (2 points), weekends (4 points), and holidays (10 points).
If your number drops below zero, an offense is triggered which can result in a suspension or termination.
The group gathered at Santa Fe Park since 11:00 a.m. PT, about 50 people where in attendance at the beginning of the beginning of the protest.
Out of fear of retaliation that has been quoted to employees, loved ones didn’t want their names stated in the news report.
The loved ones at the protest say they’re worried about their loved ones’ health and safety of the employees as well as their loved ones not able to be home with their family, and not being able to be present for their kids’ school sporting events; many of them coach on those public school sports teams in the community.
A loved one said they have 7 days off on a 90 roll schedule, and they never know when those days are, because their schedule constantly rotating on no set time.
Another loved one said the railroad is the backbone of the country, and employees are being told to take less days off; working them like robots; they’re not robots, they’re human.
ZachNews was provided a letter that was sent out to Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway days leading up to the new attendance policy effective date.
Many employees with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway opposed the new attendance policy, with many others calling for a strike against the policy as well as for better health, safety and treatment of their employees.
On Tuesday, January 25th, 2022, a federal judge blocked that action forcing Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway employees to adjust to the new attendance policy, and a temporary restraining order was placed stopping the strike until Tuesday, February 8th, 2022.
The temporary restraining order stopping the strike could could be renewed by a federal judge on Tuesday, February 8th, 2022 as attorneys for both sides are continuing to argue.
Stay tuned to ZachNews for more news updates with the latest information regarding a potential strike by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway employees.