Norfolk Southern notified workers Monday that a new round of furloughs is coming to its Roanoke operations.
The railroad said fewer than 70 employees would be affected.
“We don’t take personnel decisions lightly, yet the reality is that as our business changes, so too do our personnel needs,” read a statement from the company.
“Recently, this adjustment required reductions in select areas of the business, particularly in locomotive maintenance and repair.”
Workers may be able to apply for other positions elsewhere in the system as available, officials said. The railroad is hiring in different departments and locations.
This is at least the fourth round of workforce reductions seen by Norfolk Southern’s local crews over the past 10 months.
In September, 130 locomotive shop employees were furloughed. A union representative said at the time that affected posts included electricians, machinists, laborers, pipefitters, engine carpenters and boilermakers.
Before that, in April, furloughs for about 45 people in Norfolk Southern’s local shops were announced. In May, cuts affected 10 to 15 positions, according to the local chapter of the union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Norfolk Southern said Monday’s steps reflected a needed organizational realignment and current business levels. The railroad has previously released long-term plans to deploy fewer locomotives in its operations.
In its statement, the company said, “In today’s rapidly changing environment, Norfolk Southern continues to focus on ensuring that we have the optimal number of people and assets at every location across our system in order to operate safely and efficiently.”
Norfolk Southern said the latest furloughs affected its mechanical shops but didn’t otherwise detail the type of jobs impacted.
A union representative couldn’t immediately be reached.
After September’s furloughs, the railroad said its Roanoke workforce would number about 920 people.
On Monday, it said it continues to maintain “a significant workforce” in the area and system-wide employs more than 23,000 people in 22 states.