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I am extremely disappointed with the recent job elimination action by the 3M Corporation in Los Alamos. Only eight weeks ago, a 3M company officer spoke to the assembled workers at Imtec’s HYTEC Technology Center in Los Alamos. He told us, your jobs are safe; your job may change, but you will have a job. Eight weeks later there was a different plan and no satisfactory explanation for the job cuts by the 3M Corporation. Twelve positions were eliminated, without warning, on Dec. 7. The decision on job cuts was not fairly calculated, rather it was political and vicious. The 12 displaced workers had a total of 60 years of service to HYTEC, Imtec and for the last 17 months, 3M.
The group of displaced workers includes the team of designers who designed and built the first generation Iluma head scanner (dental X-Ray CT imager). The Iluma head scanner is the machine that drove the 2007 merger between Imtec of Ardmore, Okla. and HYTEC of Los Alamos and Boulder, Colo.
The Iluma head scanner was part of the attraction that brought 3M to purchase Imtec in 2008. Another team of designers among the terminated workers spent two weeks in October 2009 generating a design study for the second-generation 3M head scanner. The medical device will accommodate wheel chair assisted patients.
This same design team finished work on a design for a device that will limit patient X-Ray exposure and precisely aim the X-rays that are released on the patient. X-Ray CT dose is an important topic in patient safety. The X-Ray Dose Limiter was completed late on Dec. 4. We wanted to be ready to show our new 3M managers that we have the right stuff for 21st Century medical device design and manufacture. The remaining staff at 110 Eastgate is a skeleton crew of 16 people. 3M cut deeply into the functional capability of the organization with the job cuts of Dec. 7.
The terminated employees are husbands and wives who have children in grade school, high school and college. Some of them have children on the way. All of them were ready to contribute to the growth and prosperity of 3M’s Los Alamos operation.
Mr. Farmer, a manager of the 3M Corporation was interviewed by local newspapers and claimed that “these jobs were not aligned with 3M future plans.”
He can say that my position was not aligned with his future plans and that would be most inaccurate. What he did erased a million dollars worth of salary and health care costs from 3M books. He will no doubt receive a nice end of year bonus for cauterizing the wound that Imtec has become.