UPTE-CWA LANL Bulletin, December 2006
§ LANS Moves to Limit Employee Representation
§ Layoff of Contractors
§ Pension Protections Thanks to UPTE-CWA
§ Salary Date Now Secret
§ Lawrence Livermore Organizing
§ Join UPTE-CWA Today!
§ UPTE-CWA Open Forum
LANS Moves to Limit Employee Representation
UPTE-CWA stewards have successfully represented many lab employees, including saving peoples’ jobs and getting well-deserved raises. Because LANS (Los Alamos National Security) is no longer a public employer, it is no longer covered by the public labor law that gave employees the right to union representation. LANS has decided to change this policy, even though it previously committed to making no substantive changes.
Currently, LANS is only allowing an employee’s “peers” as representatives. LANS wants to define “peer” very narrowly. UPTE-CWA believes we should have the very basic right to representation, and will continue to pressure LANS to consider any other LANS employee as a “peer.”
In the mean time, we will continue to counsel individuals through workplace issues. We will meet with you and give you advice, and then be a phone call or conference room away when you meet with management so that you are still supported. We will continue our policy to represent only current UPTE-CWA members, so we encourage you to join.
Layoff of Contractors
While legislative pressure from UPTE-CWA helped guarantee a one-year moratorium on layoffs for former UC employees, about 500 contractors are being laid off and hundreds more will not be replaced. Just last week, KSL laid off 50 skilled trades employees. The layoffs would not have been necessary if the lab had remained public because the budget shortfalls are due to taxes and management fees that were not previously foreseen. We will have to remain vigilant about additional changes that were not planned or previously announced. Now that LANS has the contract, it will seek to change the terms to make them more favorable for its owners, and most importantly, Bechtel. Please contact UPTE-CWA if you know of any other changes that we should address.
Pension Protections Thanks to UPTE-CWA
During the transition, UPTE-CWA members pressured UC managers and federal legislators to add the words “substantially equivalent” into the requirements for the benefits plans to be offered by the new contractor. For this reason, LANS set up TCP1 to allow UC employees to continue with a real pension plan, rather than only a 401k-style plan with much less value.
At this time all LANS employees also have the same retiree health benefits as UC employees. We do not know if LANS plans to change this benefit or not. UPTE-CWA will seek to protect these benefits for future and current employees.
Salary Data Now Secret
LANS is using the cover of being a private company to no longer release employee salary data, claiming this is proprietary information. The availability of salary data allows us to hold management more accountable when it has unfair pay policies. Making the data secret allows LANS to give whatever bonuses and raises to management, or provide even discriminatory raises in departments, without anyone being able to check.
Because the resources continue to come from taxpayers, UPTE-CWA believes that salary information should remain available to the public. We will work with legislators and others to push for transparency in LANS’ pay practices.
Lawrence Livermore Organizing
Motivated by the negative changes for Los Alamos employees, UPTE-CWA members at Lawrence Livermore have begun to sign cards to achieve exclusive bargaining rights. We encourage you to speak with any of your acquaintances at Lawrence Livermore, and tell them they need the protection of union to avoid what has happened atLos Alamos.
Join UPTE-CWA Today!
Working together we have a stronger voice to improve our working conditions. Sign up for payroll deduction today to help build a more effective union at Los Alamos.
UPTE-CWA Open Forum
Questions or just want to find out more? Come to our monthly public meeting at the Mesa Public Library on the 3rd Thursday. That is December 21 this month. We meet at 5:15 PM. All employees are welcome -- bring your friends.