Livermore Lab employees now on furlough

Workers at Sandia to start furloughs on Monday

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is closed today and Sandia National Laboratories will follow on Monday if the partial federal government shutdown continues.

According to a letter sent to employees at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque and its California division located across East Avenue from the Livermore Lab, the National Nuclear Security Administration asked Sandia to close its operations Monday.

Sandia works under a contract with Lockheed-Martin Corp., a private contractor.

Operations at the Livermore Lab were shuttered yesterday, according to Lawrence Livermore lab spokeswoman Lynda Seaver.

Seaver said there are more than 6,000 employees at the Livermore lab and that the furloughs were "across the board."

She said by next Monday there would only be safety and security personnel remaining at the facility.

The rest of the week will be a holiday, and many employees will be using vacation days for remaining furlough days.

"We're taking it day by day," Seaver said. "That's all we can do."

The lab is sponsored by the National Nuclear Security Administration and federally funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of Energy.

In total, there are 13,000 working at the Livermore Lab, at Sandia, at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park.

Thousands of researchers, engineers, scientists and other employees at these research centers are facing similar furloughs as existing funds run out and may not be paid, according to statement from Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin).

A group of politicians urged the Department of Energy to give "back pay" to employees once the shutdown ends in a bicameral and bipartisan

letter written Friday by Swalwell, along with U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Democrat Congress members Zoe Lofgren, Mike Thompson and ,Barbara Lee.

The letter states, "Lab employees have expressed their concerns about the uncertainty they face and the economic hardship which would be caused by the furloughs."

Swalwell said that he will continued to ask for compensation "for people who do so much for our country on a daily basis and unfairly are being subjected to this uncertainty."

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News, contributed to this story.


Like this comment
Posted by Victor
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 14, 2013 at 10:46 pm

This is a shame. It'll impact the workers, their families, and the entire community. Tell the House of Reps to grow a back bone, take a vote and stop this nonsense immediately. Enough is Enough.

Like this comment
Posted by Does Not make sense
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 15, 2013 at 8:41 am

The whole "Shutdown" makes no sense- esp. since some are trying to revisit a done deal.
But the Lab is NOT the gov't. It is run under contract, by a private corporation, for profit.
Like the Cliff House.
They are just trying to hurt the workers, to maybe get their way?
For example the DoE denied their employees raises, for a couple of years, and imposed the same on the Labs. But Gov't employees will likely get back pay-
Yet they want to deny the Lab employees the same?
Many of the smart LLNS employees have already left.
More are sure to follow.
They can't do good science with dumb people.

Like this comment
Posted by Educated
a resident of Foothill High School
on Oct 15, 2013 at 8:51 am

I would tell the president and senate to be reasonable and vote on the funding bills that everyone agrees on, and when that's done negotiate on the ones that there's disagreement on. That will put most of the government back to work.

People forget that the Constitution gives the House "power over the purse".

James Madison said (in Federalist #58):
This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as THE MOST COMPLETE AND EFFECTUAL WEAPON WITH WHICH ANY CONSTITUTION CAN ARM THE IMMEDIATE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE (i.e. the House of Representatives), FOR OBTAINING A REDRESS OF EVERY GRIEVANCE, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.

This is exactly what the House is trying to do, but our spoiled president is saying "Give me EVERYTHING I want, or the government will shut down".

Please don't listen to the mainstream media on this issue. They are always on Obama's side. BOTH sides are to blame here. But the House has presented several options to the Senate and president. THEY are the ones who refuse to vote on those options and refuse to negotiate. "All or nothing" has been their ONLY proposal. It's time for them to get real.

(By the way, my husband works at the lab, so I do have a stake in this battle. Some things are worth fighting for though, and I think this is one of them.)

Like this comment
Posted by Reply to Educated
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2013 at 9:52 am

I do not believe both sides are to blame for this budget fiasco. Please don't listen to the mainstream media when they say that BOTH sides are to blame. The House refuses to vote on a clean continuing budget, and debt ceiling. THEY - the House - are the ones who refuse to vote and refuse to negotiate. All or nothing with respect to the ACA has been their ONLY proposal. It is time for the House to get real.

Like this comment
Posted by Ajay Dhillon
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Oct 15, 2013 at 10:16 am

Dear Educated,
Enjoy the time off and take a vacation without pay which the house has forced on your husband since you think they are doing the right thing.A small group of tea party reps are holding the whole country hostage. Then we have a spineless speaker who does not have the balls to face them.

Like this comment
Posted by PtownResident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm

You can all thank the House Radicals for this.

Like this comment
Posted by Take It Like a Man
a resident of Beratlis Place
on Oct 15, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Come on folks! You voted for the people who said that they would shut the government down if the House of Representatives refused to fund ObamaCare. You got what you wanted. I really don't understand why you are so upset. Stick with your principles--Obamacare or shutdown. Take it like a man!

Like this comment
Posted by Money for Nothing?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Contract employees are really independent contractors. They get paid very well when they work. When they don't work they don't get paid. They understand the deal and have chosen to work as "contractors". What I do NOT understand is why Eric Swalwell thinks we owe them money for work they won’t be performing. Are there any democrats that understand the concept of fiscal conservatism? Just because someone, or some entity, is a part of your district doesn't mean you should be giving something for nothing when our country is in fiscal distress.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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