Labor dispute disrupts train service

Wednesday, March 2, 2005 Staff and Wire Reports

SEATTLE A well-timed walkout shut down train traffic across the country Wednesday.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe's dispatchers in Fort Worth, Texas, walked off the job without notice, affecting passengers from Chicago to the Northwest.

About 100 members of the American Train Dispatchers Association walked off their jobs, said BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas in Seattle. BNSF is based in Fort Worth, Texas. The strike began at 4 p.m. CST, he said.

The walkout affected Amtrak, commuter trains, and freight trains across the board, but no cancellations were reported.

Buses were quickly provided for some commuters.

The walkout affected 50 percent of the tracks in the Northwest. Sound Transit says only two trains were delayed by a few minutes.

Qualified management personnel filled in during the brief labor action, Melonas said.

"All traffic will be moving, including freight, Amtrak and Sounder," he said.

It was not clear if the labor dispute would affect the morning commute.



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