Fired. BNSF says workers are ‘too fat’

January 3, 2011

CHICAGO — At the BNSF Corwith intermodal yard here, the railroad has dumped a contractor and said it intends to hire its own workers to load and unload containers and trailers onto and off of flat cars, reports Chicago News Cooperative.

This comes after BNSF told many of the contractor’s 180 workers, represented by the Teamsters Union, that they were too fat, reports Chicago News Cooperative.

Although the same workers were invited to reapply for their jobs, a significant number were not, says Chicago News Cooperative. Among the reasons: They had too much body fat.

Some 30 of the workers not rehired told Chicago News Cooperative that BNSF said they ‘might’ be rehired if they lost weight.

Chicago News Cooperative said the new direct hires would be represented by the Transportation Communications Union (TCU).

One of the Teamsters, rehired by BNSF after losing 50 pounds, told Chicago News Cooperative: “Of course we’re big; we’re Teamsters. You grab your coffee and doughnuts — that’s what Teamsters do.”

BNSF declined to comment, citing potential litigation.