Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak reservation centers’

100 Call Center Workers Elect to Move East

January 13, 2019

About 100 of the 500 Amtrak employees in the reservations center in Riverside, California, have elected to transfer to similar jobs in Philadelphia.

Amtrak has offered those employees a $15,000 relocation allowance. Workers who choose not to relocate are being offered a $10,000 severance payment.

The reservation center is slated to close on Jan. 18.

The union representing the reservation agents said 97 workers have said they want to continue working for Amtrak. Those taking the severance will receive about $5,800 after taxes.

Some telephone reservation work has been outsourced to a center operated in Florida by a third party where workers are not represented by a union and earn the state’s hourly minimum wage of $8.46.

Unionized agents in Riverside make an average of $21 per hour.

Severance, Relocation Pay forAmtrak Workers Detailed

December 28, 2018

Soon-to-be laid off employees at Amtrak’s California call center are being offered a $15,000 relocation allowance or a one-time severance payment of $10,000.

Those terms were negotiated with Amtrak by the union representing about 500 workers at a call center set to close on Jan. 18, 2019.

Those willing to relocate could transfer to an Amtrak reservations center in Philadelphia.

Some workers also said they might be able to land jobs as ticket agents at Amtrak stations in California if they have enough seniority to bump someone currently holding one of those positions.

Most of the employees in the call center located in Riverside, though, lack that level of seniority and those who do face a lengthy commute to work.

Amtrak, Union Agree on Call Center Worker Benefits

December 23, 2018

Amtrak and the labor union representing employees at a reservations call center in California have reached an agreement on a benefits package for those employees after the center closes next month.

The Transportation Communications Union, which represents 500 workers in the Riverside, California, call center, said the package will include a range of options.

However, few details of the agreement have been released.

The agreements calls for some moving expenses to be paid for workers taking jobs at another calls center in Philadelphia. Those opting not to move will receive severance pay.

The California call center is scheduled to close on Jan. 18, 2019.

“This new agreement will help make sure that all union Riverside employees will have a broad range of options to help them meet their individual needs,” Amtrak spokesperson Olivia Irvin said. “The agreement includes full-time employment opportunities with Amtrak in Philadelphia, and more substantial allowances for relocation or voluntary separation.”

She said efforts will be made to find employees other job opportunities in California with Amtrak or another employer.

Jack Dinsdale, national vice president of the union, confirmed that a deal had been reached declined to discuss it became union members had not yet been briefed on it, a process not expected to conclude until after Christmas.

Calif. Congressmen Seek to Save Call Center

December 15, 2018

Thirty-seven California members of Congress have signed a letter asking Amtrak to reconsider closing its reservation call center in Riverside, California.

The center, which employs 500, is scheduled to close in January. Workers have been offered the opportunity to transfer to Amtrak’s only other call center, which is located in Philadelphia.

Rep. Ken Calvert released a separate letter asking Amtrak to delay the closure for at least six months.

His letter said that would provide Congress more time to address the situation as well as give the affected employees time to weigh the relocation offer.

The union representing workers in the Riverside call center has been negotiating with Amtrak over how much in relocation expenses the carrier will pay those agreeing to transfer to Philadelphia.

Amtrak has contended that the volume of calls to its reservation centers has dropped, but some who work in the Riverside office have said Amtrak is diverting some callers to a third-party contractor based in Florida.

Union Says Call Center Relocation Talks Slow

December 7, 2018

Union leaders say negotiations with Amtrak over the planned closing of a reservations center in Riverside, California, have gotten off to a slow start with the two side far apart.

Jack Dinsdale, national vice president of the Transportation Communications Union, which represents the Amtrak reservation center workers said the two sides are talking about relocation expenses for up to 500 call-center employees.

Amtrak has said it plans to close the facility on Jan. 18, 2019. Employees will be given the opportunity to relocate to another call center located in Philadelphia.

Dinsdale said union negotiators are trying to ensure that workers do not have to make a decision about moving to Philadelphia on very short notice.

“We’re not close to anything, and nothing’s certain,” Dinsdale said. “I am of the opinion that we have a long way to go.”

The union has said that an appropriate relocation allowance would be $12,000 but Dinsdale said Amtrak has proposed offering half that amount.

When Amtrak in 2003 closed a reservations center in Chicago it offered a $7,500 allowance to workers who agreed to move to Riverside.

An Amtrak spokesperson would not comment on the talks other than to say they were in an early stage.

In the meantime the union is seeking to prod California elected officials to put pressure on Amtrak.

“The main thing is, we’re trying to give our people enough time,” Dinsdale said. “When they closed the Chicago office they gave those people six months.”

Reservation Agents to be Offered Relocation Option

November 29, 2018

Amtrak said it will offer employees in the soon to be closed reservations center in Riverside, California, an opportunity to relocate to another center across the country.

The Riverside reservation center is set to close on Jan. 18, 2019, and Amtrak has said that its operations will be consolidated at another center located in Philadelphia.

An Amtrak spokesman said the carrier is negotiating with union representatives a relocation package.

Although terms of that package remain unsettled, the spokesman said Amtrak can accommodate all of the 500 employees in Riverside if they chose to move and that they will receive the same pay and benefits if they take jobs in Philadelphia.

Amtrak had told the employees earlier this month that it will “will work with each employee individually to review their options going forward, which may include transferring to Philadelphia or pursuing open Amtrak positions, as their union contract permits.”

Amtrak to Close California Reservations Center

November 16, 2018

Amtrak plans to close a telephone reservation center in Southern California on Jan. 18, 2019, ending the jobs of 550 people employed there.

The carrier told employees in an email message that operations at the California call center will be consolidated in Amtrak’s other call center located in Philadelphia.

However, a union leader told reporters that Amtrak also plans to contract with a third-party company in Florida to take reservation calls.

Sal Rodriguez, president of Local 2511 of the Transportation and Communication Union, said those working for the Florida firm will be paid less than Amtrak pays its own employees.

Rodriguez also argued that workers believe Amtrak misled them by claiming it would only route overflow work to the Florida call center.

As happened when Amtrak removed ticket agents earlier this year from about 20 stations, management cited a decline in the need for the service being ended.

In the email to employees, Amtrak Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Tim Griffin said about 90 percent of Amtrak reservations are made online.

In the past five years, calls to Amtrak reservation centers have fallen by 3 million.