When dispatchers working for CSX Corp. across the country were told in June that their jobs were being relocated to Jacksonville, many of them quickly began to make the move — selling homes, changing their children's schools and uprooting their lives.
Then the company changed the timing of its plans.
The result: some dispatchers have been left homeless, forced to live out of their vehicles and away from their families and spend thousands of dollars on unexpected expenses. They are left wondering what they should do next.
"Through no fault of my own, this is an expense I cannot bear," reads a complaint from an Atlanta dispatcher who said he had paid more than $10,000 in moving expenses. "I can't pay a mortgage in Jax and lease in Atlanta. I have no place to live."
Since CEO Hunter Harrison took over at CSX Corp. (Nasdaq: CSX) in March and began implementing his precision railroading model, the company has made significant changes, including laying off thousands of workers, eliminating nearly 1,000 locomotives from its fleet, closing hump yards where freight cars are switched around, changing the executive team and more.
In June, the Jacksonville-based railroad told about 200 dispatchers scattered across the country that their jobs would be consolidated in Jacksonville. The notice, which the Jacksonville Business Journal has obtained, said the relocation was expected to occur between Aug. 31 and Oct. 15.
Dispatchers in the eight offices outside of Jacksonville — Atlanta, Georgia; Louisville, Kentucky; Florence, South Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Albany, New York; and Indianapolis, Indiana — scrambled to sell their homes and move in time for their children to start school in Jacksonville.
Then, in September, CSX changed its plans.