BN ACCEPTS APPLICATIONS FOR VOLUNTARY BUYOUTS

BN ACCEPTS APPLICATIONS FOR VOLUNTARY BUYOUTS

Burlington Northern Railroad will begin cutting 225 management employees from its work force after accepting voluntary buyout applications from 275 workers earlier this week.

The 500 positions being eliminated represent less than 2 percent of the carrier's 31,280 employees.The railroad had offered the separation package to 700 salaried employees in June. Those offered the package were over 50 years old and had more than 10 years' experience with BN.

Included in the buyout package were a lump-sum cash payment, extended health insurance, a moving allowance, outplacement assistance and leave of absence provisions.

Seventy-five of those accepting the package were based in Fort Worth. Another 66 were in the carrier's St. Paul, Minn., offices.

BN announced last month that it would take a third-quarter charge against earnings of approximately $100 million to cover the cost of the force reductions.

Earlier this year, the railroad eliminated 300 positions through resignations and retirements.

The railroad maintains the cuts are independent of its pending merger with Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, approved by the Interstate Commerce

Commission two weeks ago. The cuts are a byproduct of the Activity Value Added management review process that began in May with more than 3,000 management workers participating.

More than 175 positions were eliminated during the first half of 1995 through the AVA process. Those cuts were made in the merchandise and intermodal business groups.