Saturday, February 19, 2005

Join The Union Now

From Anonymous:


It's the ONLY way we can join together as a collective voice to make a difference at OUR Laboratory! If we would all join the UPTE union immediately, then we would be allowed to collective bargaining rights that UC/LANL must recognize.

I have spent the last several years being tortured by a previous group leader. I went to every office at the Lab that supposedly was there to help the employee. NO ONE IS THERE FOR THE EMPLOYEE. The only relief and help I found was the UNION. I joined and they have helped me through the entire mess. PLEASE - if you do nothing else, JOIN THE UNION!!!!

No Thanks!
Having been a forced member of a union for grad students (I was in a closed-shop state), I would rather rot in hell.
Please look at the actions and history of UPTE -- this is an organization that has done nothing for LANL -- and is home to many, mnay under performers that love to say they are whistler blowers or as the poster said, "did not get satisfaction" on a personnel matter. UPTE is anti-science, anti-merit, anti-excellence.

If this blog becomes an UPTE tool it will lose its power as a forum for discussion, and become another shrill complaint.
I, too have had nothing but bad experiences with unions. I want no part of UPTE, in spite of the fact that they offer the rank and file some potential leverage in dealing with corrupt manegement. Our management at LANL is so over the top out of control it will disintegrate on it's own. There are other avenues than unions available to us to fix our problems at LANL. For starters, you can contact your congressional representives; tell them that you want Nanos out, for a start. Tell them a fairly-worded RFP is essential to a healthy future LANL.
UPTE saved my job!!! They went to my meetings with me and my management and saved my ass. They know the policies and keep the employees (ALL OF THEM) safe from the management aligators.
Then you shoud feel grateful and go on. UPTE has done squat for ALL employees they represent in Calfifornia.
I believe that I can solve my own problems, and live with the consequences for my own actions, without a union to hold my hand. Go away UPTE. You are a bunch of self-aggrandizing, mediocre performers who indeed need help. You'll get none from me.
In the 70's I worked for ATT and belonged to the CWA which UPTE is a subset of. They sucked and the only people they ever helped were the misfits and boneheads. Since it was a closed shop we had no choice and had to pay Union dues. No thanks, don't need them. I can speak and standup for myself.
A union is the last thing we
need at LANL. We have enough
corruption and featherbedding
as it is.
It looks to me like LANL has managed plenty of corruption and feather bedding without the help of a union. One of the reasons LANL so many employees are currently facing loss of jobs and benefits is that they think they can go it alone.
Don't forget it was the electrician's union that freed Poland from Communist rule.
Actors, college professors, air line pilots, and major league sports players are all avid unionists. Why not scientists?
Polish "Solidarity" was not an electrician's union. Lech Walesa (Union leader and former President)was an electrician, hence your error.

Solidarity was operating in the times of foreign occupation. People were killed and thousands were imprisoned. But America is a free country. Comparing American unions today with Solidarity from 1980 is therefore comparing apples to oranges.

Current problems at LANL have nothing or little to do with classical areas of union's interests. We need new, science-loaded leadership and we need DOE, NNSA and new bid winner to stop making the mess.
For anyone who says UPTE is "anti-science, anti-merit, anti-excellence", just read their professional, scientific based comments on the draft RFP.

They were the only ones who saw how the scoring mechanism proposed would toss science out the door. Yes, employee benefits and pension and organizing rights were also of importance, but never say UPTE doesn't recognize what LANL's foundation is all about.

A union is simply a collection of people who join together. You don't want feather-bedding? Then prevent it! UPTE doesn't have it. And CWA is the only union left in the USA who still has annual meetings for delegates to provide the "check and balance" oversight necessary to prevent that kind of thing from happening.
Check out UPTE's letter on protecting the quality of research at UC. This letter is targeted at UC policies that undermine the quality of research:

We have been counting on new managers to clean up problems at LANL for 25 years that I know of. With each new manager comes hope then disappointment. The system is sick. It can only be cleaned up by the refusal of employees and taxpayers to put up with anti-science, anti-human management.
FYI, the revolution which freed Poland of the Soviets came about when the eletrician's union locked itself in a plant, an action planned way in advance so they would have everything they needed to hold off those who tried to start them. This action spurred the Poles into overthrowing their government. It was a union that did this!
The lone cowboy stands up for, and by, himself. This is the American myth writ large.

But, back up a minute and try to read some history. (Not a real American thing to do, but it is worth the time and effort.)

The weak and some might say, pitiful, Union here at the Los Alamos laboratory is hardly a hotbed of featherbedding or Jimmy Hoffa-style Mafia.

It is SO DAMN EASY for upper Lab management to divide and conquer, so easy for them to get media attention as Official Spokesmen (yes, MEN--not WOMEN), so easy to get their phalanx of lawyers to line up on one side of the table with Nanos, against a single "troublemaker."

And, so easy to get Labbies to attack each other, to attack the pitiful union that's just trying to hold the management accountable, so easy to attack Wen Ho Lee (who has an ego about his self-importance as big as the Milky Way Galaxy, but who was no Commie Pinko Red Chinese spy, no matter how you cut it), so easy to deflect criticism from the Republican Congressmen who saw Red Chinese spies running rampant throughout LANL, and on, and on, and on.

When will we start to realize that there's virtually 90% agreement on this blog? When will we organize together--don't call it a "union," call it "Solidarnosc," or call it whatever you like--but when will LANL scientists and support workers actually focus on the management problems and failures, and stop trying to make the last 10% perfect?

90% agreement is really a GOOD start!
Are you saying we should all lock ourselves in the Admin building and call for international recognition? Provoke a full-up crackdown? Trying to compare this cause to Solidarity is a really wretched idea. The Department of Energy is not a tyrant regime. There are plenty of rational people there who can be reached by logic, not by threats.

Nuclear weapons is already a thankless career. If DOE makes things miserable enough, we'll face a 21st century where no upcoming scientists are willing to enter this field (compare abortion doctors), and the United States will have no arsenal.

Union?? From past experience being forced to go Union in the past.... NOT! It was nothing but a bad experience, pay the dues and "be part" of a Bargaining Unit. There was no bargain, that's for sure. They did as much as UPTE has done for LANL...nothing.
So, Jack. What have YOU done for the general LANL good? Yet another anti-Union complainer, with nothing to say but "Oh gosh, they just take my dues, and then what?"

Grow up, get a life, and stop complaining!

Or better yet--bring a copy of the petition around to your fellow workers and get some signatures!
I agree, 90% is a great start but, Wen Ho Lee is and was a commie spy.
Get past Wen Ho and lets band together to support the important work this lab does. If the contract award is extended 6 months
Nanos must go now!!. We can't go on another 6 weeks with this mad man at the helm. If he stays LANL is DEAD!!
Everything UPTE promises is already a reality. UPTE won't fix will ensure that everyone gets the same. It's socialism.
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