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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Union for 430 Sandia Labs Employees Authorizes a Strike

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The union that represents 430 Sandia National Laboratories employees has voted to authorize them to go on strike. A lab spokeswoman tells the Albuquerque Journal ( ) that the Metal Trades Council rejected Sandia's "last, best and final offer" during contract negotiations Friday night. However, a strike authorization doesn't mean a strike is imminent and the union hasn't notified the labs that its members will go on strike. Sandia says the final version of the three-year contract offered general wage increases, lump sum payments and a $2,000 ratification bonus. It's the first to be negotiated between the union and Honeywell International, the lab's new managing contractor. The Journal reports that Metal Trades Council went on strike in August 1999 for 13 days over pensions, job classification and pay issues.


Anonymous said...

If all of Sandia went on strike for five years would anyone notice? What is done at Sandia that cannot be done in other places cheaper, faster, and better? I understand why you need LANL, I see why you might beed LLNL but why do you need Sandia?

Anonymous said...

Sandia engineers often refuse to do tasks, in my experience. It’s accepted by management who will repeat “you cannot tell the engineer what to do”. This is not acceptable in a physics lab like LANL or LLNL. That whole Sandia dump is basically on strike 24/7.

Anonymous said...

You need Sandia to show just how bad a non physics non scientific institution can be, thus justifying LANL and LLNL.
Look at the garbage fusion program at the Sandia Z machine which consumes $100 mil a year.
Engineers are not scientists and should not run these programs. Totally a brain dead place where engineers are basically on strike anyway. Also a survival of the weakest place where UNM grads thrive while those with high IQs suffer.

Anonymous said...

Having worked with Sandia, I found that the UNM graduate engineers to be on the LLNL technician level.
I’m sure that a UNM BS degree is much worse than a CA junior college Asociates degree. I also found it strange that the BS, MS, Ph.D UNM graduates were interchangeable. They often would occupy the same job class. In short, I think the UNM engineering degreed people there were not well qualified and no match for the talent pool that the design labs can pull from.

Pistol Pete said...

The reality is that the rest of the public and government benefits most directly from SNL engineering work than LANL/LLNL physics work. The physics package is just being maintained per US policy, the real R&D is in the new guidance, delivery and packaging.

Also, the Z-machine has in many respects been much more successful and beneficial to the the weapons program than NIF, and at a minuscule fraction of the cost. They are even starting to look competitive with NIF for fusion with a coming upgrade and laser pre-heating.

However, I do agree that the quality of SNL is bad and getting worse. It has become a virtual appendage of 2nd rate UNM grads. The first rate ones leave the state and go to California, Colorado or Texas. Promotion is based on years served since high-school internship and how many family members from NM also work there.

Another little discussed but significant problem with SNL is that it is being overrun with the good ole boy Mormon network. Not that Mormons are bad people, but they are certainly adept at helping each other at the expense of the real talent.

In short, UNM and BYU are the Caltech and MIT of Sandia now. If you are from some crappy school like Harvard, Princeton, Caltech, MIT or Standard, stay away. Your career will go nowhere.

Anonymous said...

I mostly agree with Pistol Pete. Thanks for your comments.

It may not be know to the public, but the Z fusion program is failing miserably.
Their big project, MagLiF, simply doesn’t scale to higher yields. It should noted that they have achieved only small yields. Attempts have been made to increase performance through more preheat and yields have gone down. Currently there is a 5 year program to understand why MagLiF doesn’t work. Breakeven was predicted by this year and will not be achieved. Sandia has embarrassed itself by claiming they can achieve 7 Gigajoules of yield with an upgraded machine. Attempts to interest the NNSA in building a new, multi billion $ machine based on MagLIF have failed.

The Z machine has also run its course in terms of EOS data. NIF routinely returns EOS data at much higher presssure with better diagnostics. Omega can also produce EOS data at much higher pressures than Z.

Anonymous said...

In short, UNM and BYU are the Caltech and MIT of Sandia now. If you are from some crappy school like Harvard, Princeton, Caltech, MIT or Standard, stay away. Your career will go nowhere.

October 5, 2017 at 10:05 PM

That is also the case at LANL, except New Mexico State University (NMSU) graduates reign there. Examples, the Acting Associate Director for Weapons (ADW), who was recently promoted to this position from his Q-division Leader position, only has a BS from NMSU (failed at getting his MS at the U of Colorado) and the W-division Leader only has a BS from NMSU. Many engineers have been from hired from NMSU by these two individuals during the LANS era. Recruitment is only conducted locally. No longer a National Laboratory?

Anonymous said...

While working with SNL I noticed BS and Ph.D level engineers from UNM having the same identical positions and responsibilities. It was almost as if the doctorate was meaningless. I recommend that people who want to work at SNL not get advanced degrees, and BS degrees from good universities are not required. I also found that SNL engineers were at the LLNL “super tech” level. I don’t think they could even function at LLNL as engineers. Their F-you attitude was also disconcerting.

Anonymous said...

Livermore guards attempt sick out in attempt to negotiate an over inflated union contract for a Category 3 facility. Hows that working out? The requirement for being armed is what? Basically you are a badge check, report and observe situation, at least according to current regs.

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