FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12/02/2019
Joint Statement from Representative Cody Harris & Senator Robert Nichols Regarding Union Pacific Railroad and the City of Palestine
For 150 years, the City of Palestine has been a railroad town. Our heritage, development and growth have all centered on working hand-in-hand with the various companies who have owned the railroad since our town was first built. Today, the Palestine car shop is one of only two car shops on the Union Pacific Railroad that performs heavy modifications and repairs to freight cars. The Union Pacific workforce in Palestine has earned a reputation for safely and efficiently delivering quality work and has brought great pride to Palestine and Anderson County. Recently, Union Pacific filed suit against the City of Palestine to challenge a 150-year-old contract which currently guarantees nearly one hundred local jobs. For decades, the City of Palestine has negotiated in good-faith to insure both the success of Union Pacific and a continuation of the agreement.
I urge Union Pacific to uphold the current contract and abandon its attempt to break this long-standing agreement. Breaking the agreement or convincing a court to nullify the contract would have a devastating impact on our local economy and the 60 families who’ve devoted their lives and their careers to Union Pacific.
Senator Nichols and I have seen firsthand the positive impacts Union Pacific has provided our community. Union Pacific has supported Palestine and Anderson County for decades with great relationships and a workforce that has provided record earnings in recent years.
I look forward to working with both Union Pacific and the City of Palestine to ensure that high-quality jobs continue to be created and retained to the benefit of everyone in our great community.