Thursday, April 28, 2005

Hanging Separately

August 2, 1776 - When Benjamin Franklin signed the Declaration of Independence, he said, "We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."

The same thought seems to apply to LANL staff and the recompete. Each staff member is risking their career and approximately $200,000 in benefits on the recompete. The potential bidders in the recompete are spending millions on their bids to run the place; politicians are winning the hearts of voters by bad mouthing LANL; and, yet, we are trying to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our town, and our Lab, not by savvy collective action but by separate, no cost, posts on blogs.

Credible plans that I have seen to protect irreplaceable staff and weapons knowledge require quick, collective action. Such plans would thwart people who would mistakenly destroy the Lab. Such destroyers are not malevolent just uninformed. They do not fathom the need for LANL nor the workings of LANL. Yet, we dither.

Could someone explain to me why acting only as individuals and only by whining on blogs is the right thing to do in the face of an aggregate loss of $1,000,000,000 to LANL employees and in the face of the potential death of the Lab as we would like it to be? We come across as a bunch of kids showing up to play in the Superbowl against the New England Patriots. We, the scientific heart of the country’s weapons program, are showing up in cutoffs with a soccer ball, no coach, and no game plan; yet we expect to win. Do we have a fairy godmother who is protecting us and whom I have not met?

I love the Lab and, especially, its people. Behind the press releases, we constitute a necessary national treasure. I would like us, employees and former employees, to start acting as a professional team, playing a winning game, for real, for ourselves, and for the defense of the nation. Hanging separately does not seem that appealing.


Eric Fairfield

I could not agree more. University Professional and Technical Employees, UPTE, has been organizing at LANL since January, 2000 and is used to working with UC management, and sometimes with LANL management. Those of us who are members have been working together for the best interests of members. If we had a union contract when the contract goes up for bid, we would have negotiated benefits. Without one, we wonld not.
Every UC non-management employee at LANL is welcome to join, TSM to Admin. Team Leaders are not considered management by UC or by UPTE. We do not represent contractors because they are at will employees.
For those who are interested, the dues are $20 per month by payroll deduction. The application is on the UPTE web site at It can be mailed in. Questions can be sent to, or ask a member. Members exist all over LANL.
In solidarity,

Betty Ann Gunther,
LANL retiree is an excellent organization of which UPTE is a member to which it has contributed money. However it does not have special bargaining rights under the law which UPTE does. CLE cannot negotiate for LANL employees. UPTE can if it wins a bargaining election.
The question is do you wish to hang together or hang separately as Benjamin Franklin and Eric Fairfield so excellently put it.
This is like a commerical pop up!!!!
Unfortunately, my anti pop up software didnt catch it.
Eric Fairfield is posting to sell something -- he has been in los alamos a couple of years, and is constantly selling his "expertise". He actually is quite weak, and all the products I have seen by him are marginal at best. He has applied for a number of management positions at the lab, but never made any short lists (some posters will naturally assume that means Fairfield is good). he has a very high opinion of himself (not unlike UPTE, and its ridiculous assertions that they negotiate "for you" -- it is the home of absolute slugs that always claim they were "whistle blowers").

Don't read Fairfield's post for anything more than
it is - opportunistic advertising. You will have more value buying jewelry from QVC.
Bloodsucking parasite ... look at the main post a bit later in time. Fairfield is selling.
It's pretty telling that Fairfield got Betty Ann Gunter and the UPTE slugs all misty eyed. In solidarity my ass!
Regarding the Betty Gunther post: Betty: Give it up, get a life. Few people are interested in UPTE. Please explain why after 5+ years of organizing activities, UPTE has a total of about 100 authorization cards signed.
Concerning previous post about UPTE. The fact is that UPTE has not dropped a single authorization card, but it has members instead. And it has a lot more than a hundred members. The cards will come when appropriate.
Ask yourself instead, why LANL employees are willing to hang separately rather than hang alone.
I will refrain from calling the poster from 07:30:46 AM any insulting names.
Betty Ann Gunther
UPTE steward
Oops, I should have said hang separately rather than hang together.
Betty Gunther
OK Betty, so tell us how many dues-paying members UPTE has!
Allright, so will Betty Gunther please tell us how many dues paying UPTE members there are at LANL?
YO! Betty. We are still waiting for you to tell us how many dues paying UPTE members there are at LANL. Are you busy counting?
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