WASHINGTON — The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. is asking the Union Pacific Railroad to form a joint task force to resolve plastics industry service issues and develop a way to measure improvements.
The letter from SPI President Larry Thomas, released Dec. 10, notes that the groups first must agree on how to measure service quality because UP says the rail situation is improving, while SPI argues it is not.
A UP spokesman said he did not know if Union Pacific Corp. President Richard Davidson had seen the letter. The spokesman said the firm is encouraged by the task force suggestion.
Washington-based SPI also said it does not think the Surface Transportation Board's Dec. 4 decision to extend and expand UP's emergency service order goes far enough.
``Those changes do not amount to a whole lot, frankly,'' Thomas said.
Also, at the SPI annual news briefing Dec. 9, SPI officials said they will propose budget cuts to its board in late January. The cuts are needed to close a budget gap of close to $1.5 million in SPI's core operations, or about 10 percent of spending on those central office activities, such as government relations and communications.
The proposals could include a reduction in unspecified programs, shifting expenses from SPI's core budget to other units, not filling vacant positions and trimming legal expenses, Thomas said.