UP announces pay cuts for executives, unpaid time off for employees

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OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific executives, including the board of directors, will take a 25% pay cut and non-union employees will be required to take one week per month of unpaid leave as the railroad deals with the financial impact of the COVID-19 virus. Both moves are effective May through August.

“I recognize this is a significant adjustment,” CEO Lance Fritz said in a statement. “I considered many possible scenarios, including furloughs or permanent workforce reductions, but ultimately decided that [required unpaid leave] would address our short-term needs.

In an email to employees, as reported by KETV-TV in Omaha, Fritz wrote, “Many of our customers have reduced or halted production and overall freight transportation has declined dramatically.” In its statement, the railroad said it had taken other cost-saving measures but they were not sufficient to offset the significant decrease in volume. Fritz’s email reported UP has cancelled its summer internship program, reduced or eliminated non-agreement hiring, and eliminated nonessential spending.

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