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LETTER TO EDITOR: Amtrak Employee Responds to Outsourcing Column

Posted by kinchendavid on July 16, 2006

Dear David Kinchen:
 
I have recently read your article about Amtrak outsourcing, via an email from Amtrak.
 
I am an employee from Riverside, CA at the call-center. I would agree that the reservation system is not broken, but the management is. We are top heavy on management and some of the managers do not even have any employees to manage. We seem to create jobs for those who shall be placed back to the phones. If money is a concern, then cutting the top end of management and making management really manage.
 
By this some of the management only supervise 10-15 people. In my opinion managers shall manage 24-30 people. I understand why money is such an issue, but outsourcing the call-center job is not the solution. Cutting jobs and senting them overseas is absolutely not the solution. Maybe educating the employees, including recruiting managers with education would be a start. I have been with the company 7 years, and over that time have been part-time 4 years. In order to get full time I had been offered full-time once via the call-center, then tough times hit and I was forced from a 40 hour work week to a 12 hour work week to keep my job.
 
After about a year, I bid to a station, and commuted 100 miles each way just so I could obtain the full-time status again. Now I am out on maternity leave, but have recently completed my MBA and am looking at jumping ship — hopefully with another railroad in my area or another position with the flexibility that I have had working with Amtrak.
 
Your story and web site draws my attention because I am a property owner in West Virginia, but Amtrak does not have any work for me and my seniority would have to start over if I choose to change districts.
 
I truly hope that Amtrak does not outsource any jobs, but I know that the dining services have already begun, and travelers are not happy.
 
Sincerely,
 
Tina Marsh McEnery

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