Robert Winner


This conversation is closed.

The Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1989 was waived by the president in a memo. What are your thoughts.

The Obama Administration issued a memorandum late Friday, instructing Federal contractors that they should not provide WARN Act notice to employees facing sequestration. The WARN Act is designed to protect “workers, their families, and communities by requiring most employers with 100 or more employees to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs.

Federal guidance provides only three exceptions to a WARN Act notification. The exceptions are: 1) a faltering company that is actively seeking capital or business and believes notification would prevent it from obtaining such capital, 2) a natural disaster and 3) unforeseeable business circumstances.

If defense contractors were to issue WARN notifications, they would need to be issued just days before the election as the sequestration cuts would occur on January 1st (and the law requires at least 60 days notice). Any notifications would create a huge political risk.

The full article can be seen on the web SEE: WARN in the news.

Since Federal contracts and contractors include multi millions of people why has this not been in the news. Lockheed employees 103,000 and thousands of sub-contractors is holding up on sending letters based on the presidential signed memo. Workers are about to be layed off with no notification by the millions. Right after they vote.

Comments / thoughts / or argumets for and against are solicited.

  • Oct 3 2012: Politicians love a good game of brinkmanship. I do not understand why so many people think they will take us over the cliff THIS time. They have done this before and they will do it again.

    I heard about this memo in the major media, so it is not being done secretly. The memo is part of the game.
    • thumb
      Oct 3 2012: Barry. Good observations. You know about this .. question ... wonder what the unions think about this move?

  • thumb

    Gail .

    • +1
    Oct 2 2012: Our government is corrupt from top to bottom no matter who is in charge.
    • thumb
      Oct 2 2012: I will not say that they are all corrupt but our government provides many opportunities for corruption. Along those same lines Pat has started a QE3 conversation as we both participated in the QE2 conversation.

      • thumb

        Gail .

        • 0
        Oct 2 2012: Exception noted for Ron Paul. I hope that retirement doesn't mean that he go silent.
  • Oct 4 2012: After the debate last night. (Which Obama lost) I feel the need to ask again why people think there is a bright clear line between government and the "free market" .

    A huge percentage of the free market is completely dependent on government spending and lockheed would sink without their government contracts. Look at the military industrial complex and laugh at those who swear they want to shrink government and yet want more war.....
    • thumb
      Oct 5 2012: Sharon, It is convient to dismiss what you do not want to admit. I want smaller government also but have a somewhat clear vision of what can go.

      The 32 new czars and all the sub agencies and staffs .... The departmet of Energy was installed by Carter to reduce the dependance of of foeign oil in the US (how is that working out) The Dept of Education was once the Dept of Health/education/welfare until they grew like rabbits and now employ thousands and contribute no more than before. Homeland security is a joke. When Napolitiano was gov of Arizona she wrote letters to Washington every week to do their job and control the boarder. Now she is in charge and turns illegals loose that the sheriff captures and they kill again. By the way they also sue Arizona for doing their job.

      The bottom line is that very few of these agencies would be missed by anyone other than those who get a check from them.

      I do like your example though.

  • Oct 3 2012: This type of problem gets everyone rolling. But, there is a piece to this entire country's problems that too many appear to be missing. If yo read Occupy's manifesto or the Tea Party's manifesto you discover that they overlap in many key points. Most people agree that corporations and government have gotten too embroiled into each other and have corrupted the entire system. So, which piece of the cancer to we excise first?

    The tea party is aimed at the government, shrink it, weaken it whatever it takes. Occupy is after corporations and they want to use government to control them. The occupy movement's idealogic adherence to pure democracy is foolish and bound to fail. Pure democracy does not work in organizations of over 30 people. But, they are actually on the better track.

    Corporations have been using the government as their errand boy for the last 3 decades. And major multinational corporations bear no allegiance to anyone. They are not supposed to - they are supposed to make money. That is their only job. If you weaken the government you will leave each individual state to battle multinational corporations on their own. They will simply not have enough power to do it.

    No matter who is in office what happens next will not be pretty. But, if we weaken the government right now we will get a form of free market capitalism that is more like Somalia than the US.
    • thumb
      Oct 4 2012: Your argument has merit ... well argued. The problem, enter Bernenke and the fed. He has taken the fed to a new level. When we addressed government loans I was ok with that. Now under QE3 he has written magic checks for 40 billion a month through 2015 to bail out morgages. He wrote magic checks to banks, corpoprations, auto industry. etc ... There is no doubt that the government is playing footsy with many private enties. The union is right there as a major supporter of the government intervention. They share the same socialist manifesto. I thought they would raise cain about not notifing workers they were about to be fired. Shows they are not worried about the workers. Politics/power first. All movements have valid and also questionable goals and objectives.

      I am no so sure that corporations have been "using" the government for 3 decades. The government is not only a willing partner but also a lead in many of these issues. There are laws on the books to allow corporations to restructure thus avoiding failure. When the fed steps in and resolves these issues without allowing due process what message does that send.

      States are probally more likely to tell corporations that they want their business but will allow the process to evolve rather that injecting state money.

      Corporations indeed are there to make money ... they write off losses through taxes ... pass on costs to the consumer ... and take all the lolly the government offers up .... would you expect less.

      Returning to a Constitutional government would have growing pains but is (IMO) the right direction in almost every area I can think of.

      We are in total agreement that what happens next (regardless of who is elected) will not be pretty.

      Thanks for your reply. Bob.
      • Oct 4 2012: One major problem is people thinking as government as one entity or corporations as one entity. Never forget that the "fed" is a consortium of private organizations under the guise of government .They are both made up of individuals who are following their own individual mandates. So you get some periods with more corruption and self seeking and other periods with less in either realm. Many of the key players have used the governmental regulatory agencies as revolving doors. Monsanto to USDA to Monsanto again etc.

        We need to disengage this door as part of the process. Then there are several key provisions in regulation that need to not be strengthened (not added to, the old regulations SHOULD have worked fine but they were either disregarded or weakened to such a degree that business' simply disregarded them and paid off the fines.) Once we have put the regulations back in place that protect the two mandates necessary to allow a free market to work we can begin to dismantle the government overreach.

        But, dismantling the government in the current circumstances would be disastrous. Altogether too much of this country is based on the bible by people who have never actually read the entire thing and the other half is by people who are applying The Wealth of Nations under the same circumstances. It appears that most have gotten the hang of the invisible hand but missed the part about the tragedy of the commons.

        And in either case they have completely missed what instant global communication and spying ability would do to the entire construct of "nation state".

        Ever read Jihad vs McWorld by Benjamin Barber? The entire Nation-state construct is in jeopardy at this point. I'd address the socialist piece but that is a whole other treatise!
        • thumb
          Oct 5 2012: I have a friend in hazzardous waste disposal. He was fined $25,000 dollars for a violation that he reported himself. I ask him if that would hurt him and he laughed. He violates and reports himself after the fact ... the company pays his fine and the $125,000 for the job. He comes highly recommended and is respected by the EPA for self reporting. He is looked upon favorably , however, some of his rival companies are in disfavor. It is all politics and has little to do with the law. Some are judged by the letter and some by the intent. Good if you have the halo ... sucks if you don't.

          You are right if people read the prospectus for a company and found out what umbrella they are under they would be amazed.

  • thumb
    Oct 2 2012: A brilliant, but probably unconstitutional, move! Crippling industry-wide layoffs bode poorly for Barak Hussein's chances of winning four more years of current administration policies. If the apathetic, ignorant masses don't hear bad news in the mainstream media they will not think to question their President. The only way this move could be topped would be to waive by memo the Bill of Rights.
    • Oct 3 2012: "The only way this move could be topped would be to waive by memo the Bill of Rights."

      Really? Contractor employees not being notified 60 days ahead of lay offs that won't happen anyway because congress will make a deal in the end is worse than paying Libya to torture prisoners, locking people up indefinitely without a trial and tapping phones without a court order?
  • Oct 2 2012: "Workers are about to be layed off with no notification by the millions."

    Even if the republicans keep the new budget from passing (which is the reason for the impending sequestration in the first place) it won't be millions of people who'll lose their jobs. Besides, shouldn't we be glad if government gets smaller? Why is it ok to lay off firemen but not Lockheed employees? The Lockheed employees have had a golden decade through ridiculous military spending increases...
    • thumb
      Oct 2 2012: I'm not sure that we can lay the blame at anyones feet even though they will try. Errors have been made by both parties for years that led to this cliff. That is politics. These are government contract workers .. I would like to see government employees layed off .. such as the 32 new czars and their staffs and many other full time federal employees. I do not advocate firemen being out of jobs either. I do advocate returning to a constitutional government and reduction of the federal government with the states having the power to self govern without federal interference.

  • thumb
    Oct 2 2012: The United States of America is "1) a faltering company that is actively seeking capital or business and believes notification would prevent it from obtaining such"... It's messed up.
    • thumb
      Oct 2 2012: I just read that the US credit rating was being reduced to AA-. Dave you may be interested in the conversation that Pat started on QE3.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.
  • Oct 2 2012: Multi millions of people will be laid off by government contractors alone, all in january? In what universe? I'm looking forward to seeing factcheck destroy that allegation.
    • thumb
      Oct 2 2012: About every seven to ten years the government plants go through a cycle. I was working for General Dynamics in 1992 and at Xmas time we all recieved pink slips and the plant shut down on Jan 1. This lasted for two years and the plant reopened.

      True or false all I know is what the article stated ... you did read it ... right.

  • thumb
    Oct 2 2012: That's a lot of people coming onto the job market all at once,a lot will be skilled engineers and designers.Foreclosures everywhere.
    • thumb
      Oct 2 2012: I was one of them in 1992 and thousands of engineers in Ft Worth Texas alone and thousands of houses went on the market.