Morrill board chairman: Closure of Union Pacific mechanical shop will impact local economy

October 13, 2018

MORRILL – Union Pacific Railroad has served notice to employees and the community that it plans to close its mechanical shop at South Morrill by Jan. 30, 2019.

Tony Schuler, Morrill Village Board chairman, said he received an email from Union Pacific that about 68 employees at the Morrill facility would be affected.

“It’s going to impact a lot of local citizens that work there,” Schuler said. “Our local hotel and the diner provide service to the railroad, so that will also affect our local economy.”

According to documents provided to the Star-Herald, notification has been made to employees in written form and meetings.

Notifications included a Notice of Intent for Shop Closure posted on bulletin boards accessible to affected employees.

On Oct. 10, Union Pacific met with representatives from District 19 Lodge of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to discuss the timeline for the closure.

Union Pacific said the move was to “better align resources.” They plan to transfer repair, maintenance and inspection work on its pool and bulk coal-service locomotives to facilities in North Platte and in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Details of the closure are still to be worked out between Union Pacific and Machinists Association, according to the documents, including how many positions will be transferred, how many positions will be filled, seniority and relocation support for employees going to new facilities in North Platte and North Little Rock.

Stay with Starherald.com for more on this developing story.

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