Nov 19, 2007

Comment of the Week, Monday Edition

Mike probably does "remain excited" to be associated with LANL. I think this comment from the Post November 19 RIF News post explains why. Where else can you, as a top manager, be guaranteed a large bonus by simply RIFing your staff?



Those who listened closely will remember that Mike said 750 =$100M for a year. Whether this is right or wrong, $100M is what they are trying to cover with the RIF. They are simply trying to cover the corporate fee of $80M and some change. Your jobs = the LANS board and ULM bonuses.


Anonymous said...

Why thank you Mike, I feel so much better now.

Anonymous said...

By this logic, they still have another $55 - $75M worth of staff to RIF this year (to cover the additional GRT that LANS pays).

And then there's the anticipated FY'08 budget shortfall...

Anonymous said...

The most disturbing part of Mike's talk was the Phase III section (additional RIFs). Mike said that the current layoffs won't save any money this year due to the cost of severance. As another poster mentioned, the 750 RIFs are mostly just to cover for the new $80 M profit fee which LANS LLC requires for operating LANL. Thus, we can look forward to additional RIFs in the outlying years to cover for the upcoming Congressional budget shortfalls. It's important to realize this is just the *start* of the process and not the finish!

Mike said that laying off 1000 workers "in one year" would hurt the lab. However, the strong implication of this statement is that LANS has no qualms at doing 1000 layoffs using back-to-back RIFs. Expect to see 750 staff leaving this year and another RIF of at least 250 in FY09 to cover for budget cuts. In fact, we may be looking at several years of back-to-back layoffs. Reducing the workforce by 20%, which NNSA has hinted at, will require a total reduction of about 2100 jobs at LANL.

Team up these back-to-back RIFs with stagnant pay, crazy new policies, reduced benefits, huge job insecurity, a dubious TCP1 pension plus the need for an 8% to 10% salary contribution to keep TCP1 afloat. In summary, you're looking at serving out a career in an extremely unpleasant place. Morale at LANL has not even come close to hitting rock bottom. Stress is going to be an ongoing companion to those who wish to stay here.

It's really over for LANL. I know people like to say this from time to time, but the full reality of the situation is not sinking in with all the staff. LANL's days as a premier institution are over. We are on life support and the plug is about to be pulled. Only LANS' executive staff will benefit during the process of LANL's destruction.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should give Mike and all the Key Personnel a big high five - I mean one - the next time they seem them.

Anonymous said...

Sure, Mike and his PAD/AD pals are all "excited about the future". Look at what they use to make here:

Then take a look at what they made in FY07 here (and be sure to add in an extra 20% executive bonus and any FY08 executive raises):

I would be ecstatic about the future if I was a LANL PAD or AD making around $200 K pre-LLC and then suddenly saw my salary boosted by an additional $200K by LANS!

BTW, I didn't hear Mike say anything like Director Miller over at LLNL about giving up some of his huge salary to charity or capping the executive salaries to pre-LLC levels. No, instead they'll just throw a few more bodies into the RIF pile to pay for LANS executive luxuries.

Anonymous said...

Remember that the DOE 3161 plan that was filed is open-ended. Therefore, you can be laid off at any future date. What you see happening this year is only the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Hey, 9:22pm. Why don't you put together a website on what all of them drive too? That would be useful.

Anonymous said...

Mike is a deceitful piece of shit

Anonymous said...

Sure, Mike and his PAD/AD pals are all "excited about the future

sure, they are screwing everyone else and getting rich.

Stupid ethical honest people will never be rich

Anonymous said...

When Mike says "This SSP severance is the best deal you're ever going to get", the sub-message I hear is "It's only going to get much worse at LANL over the next few years".
NNSA appears to have no desire to keep the "best and brightest" working at LANL for much longer. They are seen as an unnecessary expense and impediment in our march toward becoming an NNSA production facility.

Anonymous said...

It's important to take a look at the big trends that are headed our way. Here's how I see it.

Demographic projections imply that funding for federal labs will only get worse from this point on out. America is already running a huge deficit and the ramp-up of Baby Boomer retirement expenses are just now beginning as the leading edge of Baby Boomers turn 62 this year.

Within about 8 more years the entitlement side of the federal budget (SSN, Medicare, etc.) will have grown to the point that it requires massive reductions in discretionary spending for agencies like NNSA. Making a career out of any job that depends on federal government discretionary spending is going to be a very bad career bet. What you see happening this year is only the beginning of a much larger downsizing trend. The politicians all know this, which is why they are warning the labs to expect continual reductions in the nuclear weapon budgets.

On the other hand, companies like Google are growing at a rapid pace. They treat their employees very well (free gourmet meals, laundry machines on-site, corporate hot-tubs, stock options, etc.) and are currently hiring at the furious rate of over 2000 new employees each quarter. Companies like Google are the future for the new "best and brightest". LANL is becoming a warehouse for the "best and brightest" of an older era. Within a decade, federal research labs will become much smaller and the jobs there much less secure. Like it or not, that is were things are headed.

Anonymous said...

9:29, don't they have to refile the 3161 every 12 months? Not that it will take much effort to do so.

Anonymous said...

Too bad you all don't have worker activists anymore around this place--those having the backbone to resist. One of my priorities was to "eliminated" that problem for the Director. So keep using this blog to vent, as though venting somehow will change a thing. It won't, but keep doing what you're doing. Keep complaining in anonymity and avoid organizing or going public with your issues. That's just the way we like it!

--Guess Who


Anonymous said...

Google is at the top of its ride. It will only go down from here. $652/share, that is over-valued.

Anonymous said...

Poster 8:19 AM, you couldn't be more wrong. Google stock may come down a bit from here, but the long term path for Google looks very bright.

The price per share has nothing to do with how expensive Google stock may be. Just look at the price of Berkshire Hathaway B-shares which currently go for over $4500. It's the price-earnings (PE) ratio that matters, not the actually stock price.

Goldman Sachs just upped their stock target to $900 this morning and the company has lots of new technology coming out to boost their earnings. It's not a repeat of the dot-com boom/bust. This company makes real profits and is growing them at a very rapid rate. Google also knows that their most important assets are their workers, so it treats them very well. This is one of the key lessons to be learned by Google's great success.

Here at LANL, the new paradigm seems to be that LANL's most highly prized assets are it's highly paid executive staff so LANS treats them very well. As for the general workforce, well, it's becoming increasingly clear how both LANS and NNSA feel about them, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I've met the enemy, and the enemy is Mike!

Anonymous said...

What if there were a commercial company where the owners received a fat payment irregardless of the amount or quality of its products. Furthermore, in this imaginary company suppose that the owners got less money if any of the works made any honest "mistakes". What would be the natural and logical outcome ?

Number one -- the owners would not care about keeping the employees happy. Number two -- the easy solution to any funding difficulties is to ax employees.

The overwhelming, tragic conclusion is that DOE made a flawed contract which is not consistent with what "privatization" is all about. The financial incentives for an effective nuclear complex are missing.

Anonymous said...

8:01pm: Are you truly that ignorant? NNSA/DOE is behind this whole ordeal - Mike and friends are simply the people tasked with being the face YOU see DOE/NNSA speaking through.

Anonymous said...

9:56 PM, the NNSA's privatization efforts aren't flawed. They're doing exactly what DOE and NNSA want them to do, which is funnel vast amounts of government cash into the hands of private companies.

The private companies like LANS, Bechtel, BWXT, etc. will eventually reward the insiders of DOE/NNSA by handing out VP positions that will make some of these government employees very rich.

Just watch the career paths of guys like Tom D'Agostino. He'll end up being a highly paid VP exec with either Bechtel or BWXT within a few more years.

If you follow the money and watch the news you'll quickly come to understand that America has become a kleptocracy run by white-collar thieves. Grab what you can while you can because the American cookie jar is about to go empty in the next few years.

9:56 PM, why don't you take five minutes and educate yourself by watching this video on YouTube.

George Carlin - American Dream