Why is the UP laying off so many employees? Why did they wait until now to implement the 2020 Plan? Easy the UP is playing with money that it didn't have to do anything to earn. The Company got a few hundred million in tax savings with the tax cuts dropping their 20% tax rate to 15%. They paid 800 million on a pre-tax profit margin of 5.7 billion dollars in the third quarter alone.
That's Company wide profit – after paying every single one of us, and all of their bills they brought in $5.7 billion. But it's not enough. Wall Street wants more. That's where the Operating Ratio comes in and where they'll cut and cut and cut until it starts causing them to bleed Customers. Something they're already well on their way to doing by fining truckers with storage fees if they don't pick up intermodal shipments fast enough.
And because there's so many knocking at the door to get railroad jobs, and Customers in some locations that cannot have their products ship any other way than by rail UP has them by the balls. They'll go on their apology tour like CP and CSX did in the past and everything will be rosy for another decade before someone else tries PSR 2.0.