Monday, May 09, 2005

I am going to resign from the union in a very public way

From Anonymous:

[...] I just read the New Mexican article on line about Nanos' upcoming transfer to Steve Younger's old DOD job (or something similar).

I went ballistic when I read Manny Trujillo's comments supporting Nanos and
trashing the "prima donna" scientists. I believe that Trujillo has damaged any
chance the union might have had to bring in any new LANL scientists. If these
quotes are at all accurate, he should resign from the presidency of the union;
if he doesn't do so, I am going to resign from the union in a very public way.
Backstabbing of one group of LANL workers, who have endured the stress of Nanos'
unwarranted shutdown, by another group of workers, who have also suffered, is
unacceptable behavior for a union claiming to represent all of the workers and
staff--I want no part of any such organization headed by such a person. Again I
say, if these quotes are at all accurate, then Trujillo is no better than Nanos.
They should go off to DOD together!

What Manny Trujillo does and says is of no consequence other than to calibrate his well-known biases and profound inadequacies. That a supposedly defender of the rights of workers defends an egregious violator of those rights is a significant aspect of that calibration. With that attitude one wonders what possible role he could play in union recruitment.

BTW Nanos will not be the Director of DTRA (Younger's old job). He will be managing a project down in the DTRA bureaucracy.
Manny's response:
Right! Does Manny really expect us to believe his doctored-up statement?
Manny's "clarification" doesn't make sense in any context. I'm going with the reporter on this one...
Well, to be fair, reporters often edit what they get to make it more "saleable" and contraversial. This certainly wouldn't be the first time someone was misquoted.
Misquotes happen but Manny did not even do a good job trying to "clarify". I, too, think the reporter got this one right. What few UPTE members there are had better take another look at how their affiliation is NOT helping them. Their monthly dues could be used better in other places (like the grocery store).
Yes, indeed reporters do make mistakes. BUT, not this many in such a short quote. Manny clearly places a high value on the truth and uses it frugally!

While you're at it Manny, tell us how many dues-paying LANL employees are members of UPTE!
Make no mistake,Manny's statement, as well as almost everything else from the UPTE spokespeople, is intended to support the party line and UC position. Why? Well to start with because the U in UPTE is for UNIVERSITY --- no UC, no UPTE. To be sure, the union will continue on with another LANL contractor, but as a normal local of the Communications Workers, Teamsters, or whatever --- and most definitely with different union oficials.
5/9/2005 08:17:57 AM
You said "While you're at it Manny, tell us how many dues-paying LANL employees are members of UPTE!"

My answer:
Probably for the same reason you didn't sign your post.
Whatever Manny Trujillo may or may not have said to the press, I would like to state that UPTE represents many scientists, both at LANL and at Livermore and we have always taken strong positions in support of scientists and the quality of science.
UPTE has represented numerous scientists in grievances and has lobbied for increased pay and benefits for researchers both at LANL and throughout the UC system.
UPTE has an active legislative program in California and in Washington to assure good funding and academic freedom for scientists.
UPTE strongly objected to the treatment of Wen Ho Lee by the FBI, and supported the NEST team when it became the target of negative publicity world wide for the temporary disappearance of 2 classified hard drives. UPTE has taken a strong stance against the use of the poligraph on all LANL workers on the ground that it is based on bad science and will drive away scientists.
I, a retired UPTE member, am willing to stand on UPTE's actions in supporting good science, rather than a few confused words from Manny Trujillo.
UPTE has always been there for science and scientists and will continue to be. It is silly to dismiss an entire body of work for a few jumbled words.
Betty Ann Gunther,
past UPTE President
now retired
Tell us how many dues-paying LANL employees are members of UPTE.
To the 5/9/2005 01:03:39 PM poster: You state that "UPTE represents many scientists, both at LANL and at Livermore..." Well, maybe, but can you tell us how many LANL employees are dues-paying members?

Or, maybe you could tell us why you can't or won't tell us how many LANL employees are dues-paying members.
Having worked in two union shops (Rocky Flats after the shut down and Chrysler before Daimler) I would rather flip burgers than pay union dues.
-Dave Thomson-
UPTE has never provided substantial support to the "NEST team."
UPTE is a fraud. A few loud mouths fooling the press but no real support at LANL.

As others have asked, why can't they tell us how many LANL employees are dues-paying members?
The blog showed its power despite the posters are not organized group. Can you imagine an organized power with similar set of arguments working officially? Why not join unions, either UPTE or a new one, choose representatives you like and do in fact more than you can with blog alone. Keeping asking how many members UPTE has and ignoring it entirely is in long run a dangerous position, especially when bid is out and vultures and coyotes cruise around LANL.
Truth is truth. We are pampered. We are spoiled. We don't like being told what to do. Truth is truth.
To 5/9/2005 08:42:54 PM; Whatever.
What was Trujillo thinking? Unions usually support employees not (inept) management. The entire reason we are here on this mesa is because of scientists. UPTE should find a spokesman with a better attitude.

However, I have heard UPTE members say and do several worthwhile things during this time of LANL uncertainty. Don't toss them out based on one person. If the new DOE contract is terrible for the LANL workforce, the union, unlike you as an individual, can take legal action. (In other words, if DOE doesn't live up to its promises- you and I may need UPTE.)

It's not proper form to use the second person pronoun to speak autobiographically.
Regarding the 5/9/2005 09:39:14 PM comment: I hope it doesn't come down to needing union. BUT, if it does, it will not be UPTE. Manny Trujillo and his UPTE cohorts are not the kind of people that we need to represent us.
I regret that my remarks to the Santa Fe New Mexican implied that I feel Los Alamos Scientists are pampered and that I don't care about them. This is definitely not my opinion. I, myself, am a LANL TSM. I am an engineer, not a scientist, but I care deeply about preserving the scientific expertise here at LANL and about the well being of all LANL UC employees .
UPTE, under my leadership, has lobbied funding institutions, both private and governmental to insure that the quality of science at UC not be lowered by lowering benefits to researchers and those who work on research teams.
UPTE has stood behind scientists in their disputes and grievances and worked against the polygraph and other measures that would make scientists wish to work elsewhere. UPTE to a strong position against the denial of Wen Ho Lee's civil rights when he was put in solitary confinement for a year on flimsy evidence of espionage. UPTE supported the NEST team when it became the victim of the international press for the temporary loss of a classified hard drive. In fact, the largest category of UPTE members is TSMs, many of those scuientists. Whatever was printed in the New Mexican was not what I think, nor what I intended, but I do apologize to whoever may have found it offensive.
Manny Trujillo, President
Manny if you were man enough to say it be man enough to admit it. Your biases are showing. Also how many paying LANL employees are members of UPTE?
Who in their right mind wants to be part of a dues paying organization
that has a man like Manny Trujillo as their leader? UPTE does a great
dis-service to their organization by letting this man lead them. UPTE
has absolutely no chance of gaining any significant staff on their side
with Manny at the helm. The latest example of his quote of "pampered
staff" should be reason enough to fire him from his current position.
There has been a lot of concern expressed over Manny's remarks in the New Mexican last week. Manny's remarks did not reflect the view of UPTE or even of Manny. As he has already noted, Manny was on his cell phone when speaking with the reporter and the reception kept going out. Frankly, he was misquoted, something that any newpaper reader surely can acknowledge occurs. UPTE supports the LANL scientist and has taken many concrete steps to demonstrate this commitment. We have active, sincere members from all employee categories at LANL and from all Divisions. UPTE@LANL is in alliance with the SPSE (Society of Professional Scientists and Engineers) at Livermore as well as with a national lobbying group that supports national legislation that supports science.

UPTE officers, stewards, and members have worked hard to support employees who are being mistreated by their managers. We have tried to be responsive to employees in need and now, under Betty Gunther's stewards leadership, we have several other arbitrations going in support of other employees. We have played a role as employee advocate when others were silent.

UPTE spent member's dues getting a thorough legal analysis of the draft RFP and sending a letter from our attorneys, specialists in DOE contract procurement and labor law in New Mexico. Our letter to the Source Evaluation Board on the draft RFP ( then scroll down to UPTE comments on draft RFP) emphasized UPTE's view on the importance of science at LANL as well as how to strengthen language to protect our benefits. We are hoping that our viewpoints will be reflected when the final RFP is published. We are frequently in touch with out New Mexico congressional delegation, and we send a member who has experience as a lobbyist, to Washington, DC on our behalf each year.

Who at LANL has not benefited from UPTE's posting of publically available salary information on our website? Membership dues make this type of service possible.

It is unfortunate that some prefer to denigrate the efforts of UPTE on the Blog and detract from the Blogs purpose by focusing attention on the only group of employees who have chosen to band together in common purpose. If there has been some silence from UPTE on the blog it is because we prefer dialog and advocacy to cheap shots.

Doug, keep up the good work on the blog. Fellow bloggers, let's remember to focus on rebuilding the Laboratory rather than contributing to the annihilation of this institution.

Theresa Connaughton
UPTE Board member
Theresa Connaughton how many dues paying LANL employees does UPTE have?
Theresa- I have seen the valuable things that UPTE has done and it has my respect- Thank you.

Unfortunately- Manny's remarks, his poor explanation, and non-apologies are not making friends. Maybe next time he should say 'no comment', it will do less damage.

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