Thursday, April 20, 2006

Legality of LANL transition challenged

ROGER SNODGRASS,, Monitor Assistant Editor

With coordinated announcements in Los Alamos and Livermore, Calif., a union representing laboratory workers filed suit Tuesday to enforce employment rights and pension commitments.

During a press conference in Los Alamos, local officials of the University Professional and Technical Employees, said they were seeking relief from what they consider to be a "coercive" process that forces employees to make important employment decisions based on inadequate or erroneous information.

The complaint on behalf of approximately 10,000 employees at Los Alamos National Laboratory arises during a transition to a new management contract at the laboratory. As of June 1, the contract transfers from the University of California, a nonprofit entity operating under the laws of the state of California, to Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a profit-making corporation composed of UC, Bechtel National, BWX Technologies and Washington Group International. The limited liability corporation has been established in the state of Delaware.

Chris Harrington, a spokesman for UC said in a prepared statement Tuesday that the university does not comment on pending litigation.


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The Laboratory Retiree Group is a joke. Most are members of the "old" LANL guard that now find themselves at odds with their retirement benefactor and God--UC. Look guys...if you want to fool yourselves that's one thing, but spare the rest of us your tripe about not being able to take legal action until you've been harmed. Who's giving you this advice...the Lab’s Rodey Firm? Ever heard of the word injunction? I-N-J-U-N-C-T-I-O-N, it's a legal step that can be taken to AVOID being harmed. Battered women seek em' all the time. The Lab’s battered workforce can as well, and is…thanks to UPTE. So wake up you good ol boy retiree club, and breath deeply the sulfur smell of corporate misdeeds occurring right now, at present, under your collective noses. Wait until tomorrow, as you suggest, and it will be way, way, way too late. Come on...wake up from your retirement snooze!
A press release by the union suggested that an appropriate solution would be a system of "reciprocity" that would allow employees to maintain vested rights under UCRP, while accruing additional credits and benefits for work performed with the new company.

Good luck on this one. The goal of all this is to make all of us "at will" employees where the purging of personnel at any time can be accomplish without fear of a law suite. The labs will be just like any working place in the private sector. The outlook is, you've been a protected species for 55 years, now it's time to fall in line with the rest of corporate America. I am going to bank on the fact that this was well thought out and that the outcome will be just as DOE/ NNSA and the UC want it to be. " It's time for change and you're history". As a matter of fact if you guys remember, Litton Brooks made it very clear at a talk at LLNL. "Sorry to see you go but we will do our best to replace you as soon as possible". All that he needed to say in addition to this was, "at a lower pay and to be more productive" and all points of the mission would have come to light for most of us.

As I have said before, the party is over. It's going to be a new world for most people and one that may not be so pleasant, but the objective will be accomplished. What will be even more impressive is when the four firms start juggling for management position and power plays. I wonder how long the fantasy four will stay at LANL before they come home to roost at their home grounds of LLNL and take back their old positions with no reduction in pay because they couldn't stand the heat and loss of authority?
Any chance anyone can post the text of the lawsuit here? I have checked the on line sources of the Alameda Co Superior Court, but the most recently filed case info is from 3/13, so obviouly they are a little behind.
Golly, it took a commie liberal UNION (quick neocons! run for the bunkers!) to actually take action against this Republican-initiated screwing of LANL.

The LANL Retiree Group? Osteoporosis must have eaten away their spines. Better to let those lowlife union members pay for their fight for them. I guess that's a statement of the character of these high minded scientists. How many of you supported the Iraq invasion? How many of you have relatives fighting over there? Thought so.
"Golly, it took a commie liberal UNION (quick neocons! run for the bunkers!) to actually take action against this "Republican-initiated screwing" of LANL."

With this comment you'll get about as much support as those who place the "race card". In reality the employees are screwing themselves and the more they come across to the press as a bunch of crybabies, the likelihood of getting a better deal then you have already gotten from DOE / NNSA is about
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