MORRILL — Union Pacific Railroad has announced it plans to furlough 30 workers at its mechanical shop at the South Morrill Yard.
Morrill Village Board Chairman Tony Schuler said a Union Pacific representative called the village office Monday to give them a heads-up about the layoffs.
This is the second round of layoffs at the South Morrill Yard. The U.P.’s larger mechanical shop, where major repairs were done, was closed last October and its equipment sold.
About 68 workers from that shop were transferred to shops in either North Platte or North Little Rock, Arkansas.
This week’s layoffs affect the smaller mechanical shop, where minor locomotive repairs and maintenance is done. Major repairs are now being sent to the shop at Bailey Yard in North Platte.
Schuler said his understanding is that the furloughed employees will be given the same option as in last October’s closing, allowing employees to transfer to North Platte or another Union Pacific shop.
“We were told Monday morning that U.P. would furlough 30 people from its maintenance shop and there could be more,” Schuler said. “I don’t think reports of them closing the yard are factual. There will always be train traffic through Morrill, but we don’t know how those trains will run or whether they’ll stop here for service.”
Schuler said the loss of 30 jobs will have a big economic impact on not only Morrill, but also surrounding Lyman, Henry, Scottsbluff and Torrington, Wyoming.