The transfer by CSX Transportation Inc. of the remaining 350 headquarters jobs from Baltimore to Jacksonville, Fla., marks the end of a 164-year period during which major railroad companies called Baltimore home.
The action, announced yesterday, was the latest move in the last few years by CSX Transportation to consolidate its bi-city headquarters in Jacksonville. CSX Transportation is the railroad operation arm of CSX Corp., which is based in Richmond, Va.
However, many operations that support the railroad will continue to be based in Baltimore, according to Donna Rohrer, a spokeswoman for CSX Transportation.
The action is part of CSX's effort to be competitive in the 1990s, Rohrer said. This includes being more efficient and reducing its payroll, she said.
The transfer is coupled with a voluntary separation program in which CSX Transportation will eliminate 325 non-union positions throughout its system. This amounts to about 8 percent of the more than 4,000 non-union workers.
The company is offering severance ranging from three months of pay and benefits for those with less than three years of service to one year of pay and benefits for workers who have worked at the company for 15 years or more.
Rohrer said all of the Baltimore workers who are slated to be transferred are being offered the severance package. It also is available to employees elsewhere in the company.
After the transfer is completed in the middle of the year, there will be more than 1,000 CSX employees in Baltimore and more than 3,000 in all of Maryland.
CSX Intermodal, the CSX container operation, is still based in Hunt Valley, and Chessie Computer Services, which provides computer services, will remain in Baltimore.
"Maryland is still a major, major center for CSX," Rohrer said.
The changes, completing a reorganization announced last July, effectively leave Baltimore without a major railroad headquarters for the first time since 1828, the year the Baltimore & Ohio was founded here.