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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 authors serve as moderators. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Employee Union Calls For A Profit-Free LANL

 http://www.ladailypost.com/content/employee-union-calls-profit-free-lanl
Employee Union Calls For A Profit-Free LANL

We want the labs to be operated by a non-profit entity,” UPTE Executive Vice President Jeff Colvin said in an interview before a public meeting Wednesday evening at Fuller Lodge. “The privatization of the lab has had a big negative effect on laboratory science and national security and that alone has changed the whole culture of the lab, the way it operates and the way science is done here.” Colvin said. “The current management by limited liability corporations (Los Alamos National Security and Lawrence Livermore National Security, for example) hasnot solved the problems they were meant to resolve and have instead created a host of new problems,” Colvin said.
Among the new problems he mentioned the introduction of steep increase in management feesalong with bloated management, employee lay-offs, higher overhead, collapsed morale, major failures (National Ignition Facility deadline in California) and enterprise-wide disruption (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico).
The root of the problem in the profit-making structure, according to Colvin has been the degradation of the science mission at the laboratories caused by “a focus on meeting project milestones so the bosses get their management bonuses.”

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Right on target. Too bad that it is the union that has to state the obvious. But some of the employees are not being laid off, rather they are being terminated or forced to resign in lieu of termination based on bogus justifications and a process that is not fair and unbiased. Rumor has it that experience in Several divisions across LANL is being eroded by termination or forced resignations. It is understood that management is aware of this, and fully supports it because they will not be around when the law suits are filed. These actions appear to have started about the time when DOE opted NOT to initially extend the LANS contract.

Anonymous said...


There are few legitimate and impartial resources in the DOE Complex for employees or terminated employees to reach out to.
The honest staff within those resources are quickly weeded out when they refuse to "toe the line".


"...In her job at Savannah River Site nuclear weapons plant in South Carolina, Sandra Black was responsible for looking into concerns raised by employees about everything from health and safety to fraud, abuse, harassment and retaliation.

But in fall 2014, when federal investigators with the Government Accountability Office asked her whether she had the necessary independence to do her job, Black says she answered truthfully: She told them her supervisors had interfered with her work and had tried to intimidate her into changing her findings if they validated employees’ complaints.

Black disclosed her conversation with the GAO investigators to her bosses. A few weeks later, on Jan. 7, 2015, she was fired...."

Anonymous said...

The term being used here at LANL is "putting highly, paid 'legacy employees' on transition (with managers saying they no longer have funding for you and you are on your own to find a new position) and replacing these legacy employees with Bechtel staff." I actually saw this secret memo and on the flip side was a list of names to be targeted. My name was on this secret memo that someone accidentally (on purpose?) happened to leave on the copier in the area I was working.

Anonymous said...

Being placed in EIT or EBA status in many cases signifies a LANS, LLNS, and NNSA management approved paper-the-file countdown to employment termination. In terms of your career as an EIT or EBA, you are essentially a dead man walking. Either accept your employment fate at these labs, or save all documents and hire an attorney long before you are escorted out the gate.

Anonymous said...

The term being used here at LANL is "putting highly, paid 'legacy employees' on transition (with managers saying they no longer have funding for you and you are on your own to find a new position) and replacing these legacy employees with Bechtel staff." I actually saw this secret memo and on the flip side was a list of names to be targeted. My name was on this secret memo that someone accidentally (on purpose?) happened to leave on the copier in the area I was working.

July 6, 2016 at 11:05 AM

I have heard that one of the plans is to move as many older people in Bechtel to LANL and transfer the pension. Saves alot of money and Bechtel is all bout the $$. Privatization works!

Anonymous said...

Privatization works!

... for Riley.

Anonymous said...

The only model shown to provide an effective full range nuclear weapons science laboratory that is sponsored by a ship of fools is Contract 48 to the University of California.

Nothing else worked well for 50 years. The small irregularities that occurred pale in comparison to the systemayic structural degradation that has occurred under the clauses of the post 2007 contract.

Anonymous said...

July 7, 2016 at 5:30 PM

UC was a failure that allowed for cowboy arrogant scientists to run wild, they spied, lost disks, stole mustangs, started fires, blew up WIPP, too classified information home, beat up Tommy Hook, created a culture of theft, people who mock Greg Mello, lost more disks, could not get NIF to work and so on. UC did not work, it was a failure for 50-60 years. Bechetl has made things better but they may need 20-30 years to repair the heinous damage done and get rid of the culture of arrogance and it is all about culture and nothing but culture.

Anonymous said...

Bechetl has made things better but they may need 20-30 years

Here is one of these arrogant cowboy scientists from LANL giving you free education:

It is Bechtel not Bechetl.

Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

None of that alleged cowboy -- "Gee, I offended a PC dumb ass incompetent DOE/congressional turd" -- matters. DOE staff was jealous of Lab benefits and poisoned relationships accordingly with it's envy. Meanwhile, 15 -20 successful designs were deployed. 3000 underground and atmospheric tests were made. The beast of nuclear wespons were discovered, mastered and tamed...by UC employees.

Stellar, ummatched record of science in the public interest.

Detractors are both ignorant and stoopid. It's not matter of opinion. It's historical fact.

Eat it. Bozo.

Anonymous said...

DOE staff was jealous of Lab benefits and poisoned relationships accordingly with it's envy.

Detractors are both ignorant and stoopid. It's not matter of opinion. It's historical fact.

Eat it. Bozo.

You may be right but here is a fact, NO ONE CARES ABOUT NUKES ANYMORE...NO ONE, no one needs them, no one wants them, no one thinks they could ever be used, no one sees the value of them, and in the unlikely event we need them than it is taken for granted that we have lots of them and they work. You are not going to see Trump, Clinton, or even Gary Johnson mention them once as there are much more pressing issues to deal with than how we teat our eggheads at the NNSA labs. That is the perception and perception is reality and many people who work at the labs use this perception to their personal advantage. In any case the cold war is long over and we have much better things to waste our money on and much more worthwhile people to think highly of, so your time is over and now it is time to pay the piper. Maybe you should have been a little less arrogant back than, now what do you have to offer? I can understand why Facebook employees, Google employees, or Twitter employees might think they are so great and relevant but how on earth can anyone at a NNSA lab think they are so great or have anything to offer? Clinton and Trump actually use Facebook, Google and Twitter, they do not use NNSA labs. In fact DOE and Congress have made their opinion of the value of the labs very clear when the privatized the labs. Could you imagine such a thing during the cold war, hell no, but now, no one cares. Get used to it because in the next contract change it is going to go even more full Bechtel, Lockheed, or whatever private corporation sees fit to run these places and make some easy money. Oh and make no mistake there are forces at LLNL and LANL that want to keep the labs for profit and amp it up even more so. Now to give you some credit there very well may be a big price to pay in the long run for this approach but you, I, and everyone else are just ,as you say, too "stoopid" to even consider the possibility. Human history has shown that all empires end, either through natural disaster, war. or corruption and the United States should not be considered an exception. In some ways we should take solace in realizing that all is as it should be, just as it always has been.

Anonymous said...

July 8, 2016 at 9:58 PM

Amazing that someone as perceptive and knowledgeable as you remains so completely inconsequential to everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Your premise that consensus is wisdom is juvenile.

Those informed and responsible for national interests and for western civ in general know that a robust American nuclear arsenal is a key component to it's long term success. And a robust science program is essential to the safe useful operation of the arsenal. This our enemies know better than our citizens.

This wisdom is endemic, not a consensus discovery. It does not depend on your agreement. ..or existence.

Anonymous said...

And a robust science program is essential to the safe useful operation of the arsenal.


What? Who cares.

Anonymous said...

Our enemies.

QED

Anonymous said...

Our enemies.

QED

Our enemies??? that is all you have? What are the odds that "our" enemies would attack us? Low enough that I think we safety neglect or actively degrade LLNL and LANL for short term profit. Our enemies...good one, how has that argument worked out for you? Nanos was right about you people.

Anonymous said...

A gentleman concedes when he loses. A dog keeos barking. Choose your style carefully.

Anonymous said...

You may be right but here is a fact, NO ONE CARES ABOUT NUKES ANYMORE...NO ONE, no one needs them, no one wants them, no one thinks they could ever be used, no one sees the value of them, ……..

July 8, 2016 at 9:58 PM

No one wants them:

North Korea, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, France, ISIS, ….

No one needs them:

Russia, China, UK, US, ….

Anonymous said...

Don't try to reason someone out of an opinion he hasn't been reasoned into.

Anonymous said...

Didn't UPTE want privatization of the Labs and the University of California out in the last bids for the Lab contracts? Now they don't want privatization. Does UPTE know what they want?

Anonymous said...

Didn't UPTE want privatization of the Labs and the University of California out in the last bids for the Lab contracts?


No, I think they pushed for keeping UC and the labs non-private back than. Where did you get this idea?

Anonymous said...

UPTE did want privatization of the Labs and the University of California out in the last bid process. I know because I was an UPTE member and advocated in Washington, DC for this.

Anonymous said...

The UC contract wasn't fee-free, UC simply chose not to accept a management fee. There isn't really any profit to be had by anyone, either, there is just a fee that gets split among the partners in the LLC. The LLC counts every penny that is not reimbursed through the contract, to maximize the impact of that fee, so it all comes down to the fee: Big is good, small is bad, but no one ever loses money.

The LLC has no real interest in national security or in maintaining the capabilities at the labs, beyond what is narrowly necessary to achieve annual goals without screwing up. And it knows that screwing up (safety, security) has a much bigger impact on the fee than doing great technical work, so the labs increasingly fixate on compliance with elaborate rule books that allow management to blame others if anything does get screwed up.

We all know this. But, Congress does not care about any of it, not really. What they care about is politics. States (who send people to Congress) like the existing model because it generates a lot of tax revenue, the big companies making up the LLCs like the existing model because it's money in the bank, the Congress people from those states and the states the big companies are based in like the existing model because it means more money and power for them.

It is not about what is best for national security, it is about politics. And that is why the existing model is here to stay. We can like it, we can hate it, but it's here to stay, and if we really hate it then we have the freedom to leave.

Anonymous said...

It's here to stay if you don't complain to your Congressional critters.

Anonymous said...

I know because I was an UPTE member and advocated in Washington, DC for this.

July 11, 2016 at 10:59 AM

That's exactly the problem with UPTE. They have "loose cannons" going to Washington to promote their personal agendas on the UPTE monies. Is that you Chuck?

Anonymous said...

No, I think they pushed for keeping UC and the labs non-private back than. Where did you get this idea?

July 11, 2016 at 5:55 AM

Uh, Chuck Montano, Chris Michels, and Manny Trujillo (UPTE President) to name a few. Colvin did too. These guys fought the UC tooth in nail back in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000's and finally got their way with the eventual privatization of LANL. Again, UPTE does not know what they want, who represents them, what they represent, or who they are.

Anonymous said...

Uh, Chuck Montano, Chris Michels,


These guys did not represent a wide class of UPTE people but simply had personal agendas to destroy LANL no matter what.

UPTE Jeff said...

I am compelled to correct the gross mis-perception propagated by the anonymous poster starting July 11 at 4:01 AM that UPTE advocated for and lobbied for privatization of the Labs, ending with the the statement that these "guys did not represent a wide class of UPTE people but simply had personal agendas to destroy LANL ---".

I am Jeff Colvin, the current UPTE System-wide Executive Vice President. Starting as far back as the early 2000s when Congress, in its infinite wisdom, decided to re-bid first the LANL M&O contract and then the LLNL M&O contract, the leadership of UPTE, following a poll of employees and our members throughout the UC system, worked hard to first stop the march to privatization, then to mitigate its worst effects, then to undo it after the LLNS/LLNS for-profit monopoly took over. All of this is well documented. See, for example, our LLNL local's website: www.spse.org, click on the "Legislative" link. there you will also see a poll of employees we did some years ago showing that the vast majority of employees want a not-for-profit manager for the Labs. UPTE has always stood for the integrity of the Labs' science and national security missions, promotion of the idea that Lab employees are important stakeholders in the Labs' missions, and protecting employee rights. There is no personal agenda here.

The upcoming LANL bid process presents a new opportunity to get this right. Yes, there are many obstacles, including the gross receipts tax issue, as well as political and economic interests arrayed against us, not to mention the propagation of mis-perceptions and mis-information on this blog. If you really want to see change for the better at the Labs, then log off this blog now and go to the UPTE website and download a membership form, join us in what will be an epic campaign over the next two years to return LANL to not-for-profit management, with a return to a focus on science instead of profit.

Anonymous said...

All this chatter is why Trump is the only answer to even coming close to throwing a wrench in this Wholesale corrupt Washington DC mindset. He may not be perfect, but Billery is an absolute disaster should she become president. The Middle east and Europe will become so unstable it will cause world war 3. The Bechtel tool has run its course....Go away Riley and Diane and live in Switzerland for the rest of your useless lives...You have done enough damage, and made enough money...Please become useful to the world in some other way.

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