Union Pacific is furloughing the majority of workers at its Jenks Locomotive Facility in North Little Rock, Ark., and temporarily closing the facility. These actions are directly related to the drop in business brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, Union Pacific said:
“Union Pacific has experienced an unprecedented decline in business volume due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our customers have reduced or halted production. While we anticipate volumes will return over time, we are taking actions to protect the company from further economic impacts of the virus.
“The Jenks Locomotive Facility will temporarily close and the majority of staff will be furloughed. The management team and some craft positions will remain on site in the maintenance area to focus on closing outstanding work and prepare for reopening. Union Pacific will re-evaluate business conditions the week of May 18 to determine if operations will resume June 1.
“This is a difficult time for our nation, Union Pacific, and for our Jenks Locomotive Facility team members and their families. We look forward to seeing the economy recover and for Jenks Locomotive Facility to begin normal operations, as soon as possible.”
The Jenks Locomotive Facility is named after Downing B. Jenks (1915-1996), who was president of the Missouri Pacific Railroad from 1961 until 1983, when Union Pacific acquired Missouri Pacific and Jenks joined the UP board of directors. Jenks was known for his rehabilitation and refurbishment of MoPac into a first-class railroad, and was one of the earliest rail CEOs to employ computer technology.