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Monday, March 5, 2012

LANL braces for deep cuts

Anonymously contributed:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/us/los-alamos-braces-for-deep-cuts-at-lab.html

"Mr. McMillan said the layoffs were necessary so that Los Alamos, which has shifted its mission from primarily nuclear weapons to national security, could continue its work...”

Los Alamos is a national security lab, not a weapons lab? So is there one or zero weapons labs left?

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

McMillan is a real disappointment. He doesn't even know our mission or which Lab he's working at.

Anonymous said...

So which story is the the one to stick? The current year loss of WFOs is hard to square with the "broader" mission claim. Some data are floating around that show gains in WFOs for past two years have been lost this year. What gives???

Anonymous said...

I sure so hope that McMillan was misquoted in this article, because as our Native American friends say "man speak with fork tongue".

Anonymous said...

Some "national security" lab, Charlie. LANL lost over $60 million in Work for Others (WFO) funding this year, which is about 30% of the lab's WFO budget.

Then there is the $200 million in lost weapons funding on top of that -- LANS shoving off LEP weapons life extension projects for LANL designed weapons to LLNL is one of the main culprits here.

And then, of course, funding of CMRR with all its associated planning functions is to be completely eliminated after Oct 1st. Charlie McMillan quickly abandoned his support for this one an dumped the body of CMRR on the side of the road as road kill.

So if recent history proves LANL is not a weapons lab and not a nation security lab what's left?

I got it! Liberal NM Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (D) wants LANL to be an environmental research park. That's the ticket! The dismal path of Rocky Flats all over again.

LANS, indeed, is the "shut down crew". That should be obvious by now. The LANS upper management team is actively working to destroy what's left of the place and harm both the staff and the community, which they seem to detest.

Anonymous said...

Something smells rotten in this story. For years TR declined under Beason, but it is hard to blame him since he was almost always gone and Burns ran the numbers down. Beason leaves and the budget goes up for a few years. Burns returns and the budget goes back down. Anyone see a trend here?

Anonymous said...

“My view is today many of the deliverables that we face are in the weapons area and so someone who brings not only knowledge of that area, but also the sets of relationships with DoD and DOE/NNSA is the right kind of person today to be able to help ensure that we deliver on the kinds of commitments we have particularly in that area"

Charles McMillan interview June 2010


With a nod to Lucy Ball
"Charles, you got some 'splainin to do" over the recent NYT interview.

Anonymous said...

From the looks of the VSP info that LANS has just posted on the internal web site, it appears that the reduction in lab severance accumulations will be cut from 39 weeks (max) to 26 weeks (max) shortly after the voluntary reduction is complete in March.

That means that many of the long-term (older) staff who don't take the voluntary will be taking a very large cut in their severance payout when the involuntary layoffs start by late Spring.

Furthermore, any long-term regular staff who are sc#wed over by LANS in the involuntary layoff will also suffer the indignity of being required to sign a legal waiver promising to never sue LANS just to get that greatly reduced 26 weeks in severance!

I see a huge legal mess coming for this poorly thought out decision by LANS management. Anyone who is involuntary laid off would be signing severance papers for the reduced payouts under great duress! I suggest that employees start keeping good records over this whole sordid affair that LANS has created.

Anonymous said...

Something smells rotten in this story. For years TR declined under Beason, but it is hard to blame him since he was almost always gone and Burns ran the numbers down. Beason leaves and the budget goes up for a few years. Burns returns and the budget goes back down. Anyone see a trend here?

March 6, 2012 8:48 AM

Burns is a highly oversold product. Again, I saw the grades he brought here from UC Berkeley. While I give him credit for getting in, he couldn't qualify to be a summer student at LANL with his 3.1 GPA. That's why he doesn't have a PhD, he didn't qualify, and somehow this guy is a Deputy PAD. What a joke, no the joke is on us actually.

Anonymous said...

Furthermore, any long-term regular staff who are sc#wed over by LANS in the involuntary layoff will also suffer the indignity of being required to sign a legal waiver promising to never sue LANS just to get that greatly reduced 26 weeks in severance!

March 6, 2012 5:23 PM

Don't forget that all of the "excluded" workers will be REQUIRED to remain in their positions for 9-months. Is LANS also posting a $20,000 bond on these folks and installing a auto-ignition breathalyzer in their cars? What did they folks do wrong! LANS GONE WILD!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that all of the "excluded" workers will be REQUIRED to remain in their positions for 9-months. Is LANS also posting a $20,000 bond on these folks and installing a auto-ignition breathalyzer in their cars? What did they folks do wrong! LANS GONE WILD!

March 6, 2012 8:22 PM

Yea I hear Warden McMillan will be going to a prison lockdown. Inmates will be confined to their cells. No visitors and security guards will be ordered to "shoot to kill". "Excluded" inmates will be held in solitary confinement with no lights, no food, and no water for 9-months. Deputy Warden Knapp will leading a "rubber hosing" effort throughout the prison.

LANL Layoffs 2012 said...

LANL VSP: New Blog for "Excluded" and otherwise impacted LANL employees. -----------------------------------
Long time employees at LANL, who have been EXCLUDED from the VSP program have started their own website at

http://lanllayoffs2012.blogspot.com

Please post your comments there and signup if you would like to participate with other employees who are investigating what actions may be able to be taken to force the Laboratory to open the program to everyone.

Anonymous said...

Just curious, but has LANS given any information into how in the world they constructed this crazy looking "excluded" list for the VSP? They should offer some rational justification into how this list was put together.

My guess is they did it in such a way as to keep a very few highly qualified people at LANL (and I do mean only a very few!), with the rest of the list filled out with lower qualified (i.e., low pay) workers so that they could minimize full (39 week) severance payouts of the more expensive, older research staff.

After the VSP, they'll involuntarily layoff a bunch of the older, much more expensive research staff and only be required to pay these unfortunate folks the much reduced 26 weeks in severance pay, rather than the promised 39 weeks. The cost difference here would be huge if we are talking about several hundred professionals in the "Scientist 3/4" categories -- the LANL category which make up the bulk of the lab's research staff !

If this was, indeed, the thought process behind the construction of the exclusion list then LANS might be vunerable to legal prosecution and investigation by several federal agency for their behavior.

If LANS won't release their exact methodology in constructing this list -- say, under the guise of "corporate proprietary information" -- then they should be forced to record and document *all* relevant materials (including management emails and any hand-written meeting notes) involved in the construction of this exclusion list.

LANS should not be allowed to destroy critical data that may be required in future legal proceedings, but I suspect that is exactly what they plan to do. Perhaps some type of legal "restraining order" is called for to stop them from shredding evidence of possible wrong doing?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps some type of legal "restraining order" is called for to stop them from shredding evidence of possible wrong doing?

March 7, 2012 7:58 PM

It all depends on your lawyer and how much you are willing to pay him. What other mechanism is there, except the pressure of Congress? Oh, wait, I forgot, your Congressional delegation does not give a shit! Too bad. Be careful who you vote for.

Anonymous said...

Given the extremely deep budget cuts that LANL is facing this year with more coming after Oct 1st, my guess is Charlie McMillan will push hard for the full 800 reduction in the lab's regular staff -- a huge 10% staff reduction taken all at once with a corresponding minimization of severance payouts through the use of rapid policy changes that are 'rubber stamped' by LANS and NNSA.

It's going to be brutal for the local economy and for morale at LANL. This will be the biggest and most devastating layoff ever seen in the history of the US nuclear weapons complex. Heckavajob, LANS!

Anonymous said...

From the current regular workforce of slightly under 8000 down to only 5000 workers by 2015. That's my guess.

This is only going to be the first round of painful layoffs and drastic benefit cuts implemented by LANS due to the lab's quickly shrinking budgets. CMRR is only a part of the problem. LANL Program Managers and LANS executives have been doing a terrible job at keeping the program funds coming into Los Alamos.

No other NNSA research facility are experiencing gross mis-management at this grand scale. The other labs are GROWING their budgets!

Anonymous said...

Come on people, sing a rousing chorus!

" LANS - Has - the - Plan,
For - Making - LANL - Gran.... "


Ah, H#LL, forget it.

Time to close up shop.
Last person to leave town, please turn off the lights.

Anonymous said...

The County Council went to DC to tell Congress that LA is hurting financially with the cuts to LANL> They just laughed at them, told them they have had more spending money than most American towns, and it;s time to slow down. Their spending frenzy is coming to an end!

Anonymous said...

Talk about a town spending frenzy, anyone seen the plans Los Alamos Country has developed for a deluxe million dollar "shed" out at near the rodeo grounds? Then there is the community funded bus service, in which expensive buses cruise constantly around town, typically with less than one or two people on board.

The council needs to face reality and quickly! The money spigot is about to be turned off as large segments of the town's citizen are thrown out on the street by LANS and lose their lucrative lab jobs. Even the GRT funds are coming down rapidly with the loss of hundred of million of lab program funding which is taxed by the state and county as the project funds are spent.

Anonymous said...

The Los Alamos City Council is ripping the White Rock road going Bandelier and then putting in a Visitor Center that looks like another filling station. The road reconstruction is will reduce traffic from 2 lanes each way to 1 to make way for dead pinons in the median. What an absolute waste of money, not to mention another dumb idea! So much drama, debate, and politics in Los Alamos for so many dumb and expensive plans.

Anonymous said...

The LA Council is unstoppable when it comes to spending other people's money. When the layoffs hit and the GRT funds drop, they'll work to see that Los Alamos County property taxes are raised by large margins on the remaining citizens.

If you live in Los Alamos, you may soon be paying almost as much in property taxes as you do for your mortgage. Just watch and see!

Anonymous said...

The budget mess was not a single point failure. LANL lost CMRR funds, EM funds, WP funds all this year. Looking at the NNSA budget numbers, the WP loss may have started from a couple years ago. Looks like the books have not been real healthy since the time of Mara.

Anonymous said...

Just wait till the numbers start coming out, you will have a media frenzy, explaining just how bad the cuts are going to hurt northern New Mexico. And LASG will be celebrating! Getting ready for another assault.

Anonymous said...

Just wait till the numbers start coming out, you will have a media frenzy, explaining just how bad the cuts are going to hurt northern New Mexico. And LASG will be celebrating! Getting ready for another assault.

March 22, 2012 8:02 AM

Another pool soul blaming the media and LASG for all of our own internal problems at LANS.

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