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This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

60 Minutes, Tick, Tick, Tick Tick

My 60 Minutes request, tick, tick, tick....

At the end of the day I doubt that it'll make a difference, however, if we all felt that way, no one would ever make a difference....
" Greetings,

Since in the past you've given coverage to government contracts that suggested less-than-responsible management to outright abuse of the taxpayers money, you might want to consider a story about the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Specifically, the contracts they've awarded for the management of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore Ca.

Currently, I'm an employee at LLNL and have been employed there for over twenty years. Prior to Oct of last year, both laboratories were managed by the University of California. Since then, dramatic changes have occurred at both labs to include massive lay-offs, increased management, greatly increased management costs ( from 8 million to 40 million at LLNL) a complete change of culture from that which was geared towards "mission first" to "what makes money first", the deceptive handling of thousands of employees pensions, and more.

The irony of course is the release for bid of management of the labs and the "privatization" of them by awarding contracts to Limited Liability Corporations was supposed to be more cost effective and better allow the missions of DOE to be accomplished. It has done neither. The "crown jewels" of the nation, as our labs have been called, are quickly becoming tarnished with the complete focus of "profits only" by companies like Bechtel and will, in short order, have the allure of junk jewelery for the nations brightest scientist and technicians.

The whole concept of privatization is mired in delusion to begin with. Private companies "can" be effective and produce better products at a better price level when exposed to competition via the free-market system. The labs are not involved in a free-market system and therefor management by private companies only guarantees exclusive funding to the management team for the duration of the contract.
Rebidding for the contract every seven years, hardly defines the free market system.

Over 500 employees are scheduled to be layed-off by the end of May, bringing the total of separated employees to nearly 1000 since Oct of last year. Based on a NNSA program entitled "Complex Transformation", it's likely another 2000 or so employees will be released in the next few years. All these lay-offs are being stated as needed to reduce costs so that the Laboratory can be more "cost attractive" to outside customers. George Miller, the director of LLNL, just recently admitted before a NNSA funding request committee before congress that laying off employees does NOT reduce their per-capita overhead costs. The layoffs won't make LLNL more competitive but they will reduce to bottom-line, increase profits for the parent LLC partners, instill a work-force with fear, spawn an ever increasing exodus of top talent, and ulitmately destroy this nations scientific and research foundry.

I ask that you look into this situation and come to your own conclusions. I think you will uncover some interesting facts that should be revealed about our government and that the citizens/taxpayers of this country ought to know about.

These two links, while not objective sources, will provide plenty of subjective insight as to what the employees at both labs are feeling and going through;


While I prefer anonymity at this point, should you feel this subject matter worthy of follow-up, I would be willing to talk about my identity."

And yes I actually submitted this. Funny thing is, it's now compelled me to write a few senators and congress-persons. Sitting on the side-lines and doing nothing only makes you realize that you've done nothing.....


Anonymous said...

Hopefully Betsy Mason will leave a phone number where she can be contacted or you can write her. Her address in on the sidebar.

Anonymous said...

If only the person who wrote the fax to NNSA on why the LLNS contract should be nul and void immeditely came forward we might even get someowhere. I am sure betsy mason or a editor of your choice wuld be more than willing to write and editorial. There is also one more reporter out here from UC Berkeley that's wants a piece of the action.

Anonymous said...

That's got to be one of the most well written statements I've seen around here. I hope they listen. As someone suggested earlier, this would make for a great book. I feel we missed a big chance for a documentary on this whole thing. We should have been taping people on the effects of this transition from the time they first announced the need for a new contract. If we could have gotten GM and his transition team on camera, making the statements about no layoffs, a great future, etc. and then juxtaposed it with interviewing workers as they walked out the gates for the last time, it might have been very compelling viewing to a wide range of people.

Face it, most of the people in this country are having a hard enough time just making ends meet to be concerned in the least about the plight of a few thousand science workers in New Mexico and Northern California. Heck, there are some who applaud what's happened to LANL and LLNL. But it's the absolute waste of taxpayer money and the potential loss of national security capability that's the story. Hope 60 Min bites on this.

Anonymous said...

April 26, 2008 6:58 PM I completely agree, this was an excellent post.

And I've been composing a few letters of my own,

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