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BNSF Announces Coming Wyoming Layoffs, Facility Closures

BNSF Subdivision Map in Wyoming
BNSF Railway

BNSF Railway announced this week it will close two facilities in Wyoming and lay off the related employees within the next two months. The Guernsey shop is set to close on July 7, 2020 laying off 92 people; the Donkey Creek facility in Rozet is set to close on June 5, 2020 laying off 38 people.

In a statement, the company said there's reduced demand for shipments from its customers therefore fewer rail cars and locomotives moving on its network. BNSF pointed to reduced demand from changes in the coal and energy sector.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday, May 7, that year-to-date production is down by over 20 percent compared to last year. The decrease in coal production has already led to hundreds of lay-offs at coal mines in the past few months.

122 of the employees to be laid off are unionized and operate under collective bargaining agreements. BNSF said workers accepting a job in other locations will receive a relocation package. Otherwise, the company offered connecting workers with available resources.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Cooper McKim, at cmckim5@uwyo.edu.

Before Wyoming, Cooper McKim has reported for NPR stations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and South Carolina. He's reported breaking news segments and features for several national NPR news programs. Cooper is the host of the limited podcast series Carbon Valley. Cooper studied Environmental Policy and Music. He's an avid jazz piano player, backpacker, and podcast listener.
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