"Career Scientists Sue 3M...."

Eric Lucas ealucas at ix.netcom.com
Sat May 30 10:48:43 EST 1998

rjbuss wrote:
> Eric Lucas wrote:
> >
> > Arthur E. Sowers wrote:
> > >
> > > Scientist employees usually don't get much coverage in the WSJ, but this
> > > one might be of interest to some of you.
> > >
> > > WSJ, May 14, 1998, page B8 for the whole story.
> > >
> > > "Career Scientists Sue 3M Alleging Pay Inequality"
> > > by James P. Miller
> > >
> > Oh, give me a break.  Sounds to me like someone has a little growing up
> > to do.  "Quotas to limit advancement opportunities"???  Have these bozos
> > considered the fact that there are only a certain (small) number of
> > management positions that exist?  What do they want, all technical staff
> > to be made managers?
> <snip for brevity>
> >         Eric Lucas
> When I read the article, my impression was that the issue is the
> "dual-ladder".  We have a fairly recent dual-ladder system here.
> Previously, the only way for career advancement (for a scientist) was to
> leave research for management.  A couple years ago, Sandia changed the
> structure do provide a ladder of promotions parallel to the management
> ladder.  The above lawsuit seems to be addressing the issue that the
> compensation for equivalent levels on the two ladders is not the same.
> I believe there has been no such promise here, and I suspect the lawsuit
> against 3M will hinge on whether there was any promise of equal pay.

Why do the employees assume such promises are legally binding, unless
they are made in a contract signed by all parties concerned?  Just
because I walk up to you and say "I promise I'll give you a $1M" doesn't
mean you have any grounds for suing me when I don't.

Such promises aside, it's ludicrous to expect pay *would* be equal.  The
jobs are not the same.  You can argue till you're blue in the face whose
job is more valuable (I know I have my opinion, but it doesn't match my
employers'--so be it; they write my paycheck every two weeks) but I
certainly know whose job is harder, at least at the places where I've
worked.  No way in hell they could pay me enough money to face the daily
hassles and headaches I see my boss and his boss facing.  And every
middle manager I know feels the same way--most wish they could return to
the technical ladder, even for lower pay.  Fact is, at least at the
middle manager level, they have to offer such pay and opportunity for
advancement, in order to get people to even consider being middle
managers (which is where most people enter the management ladder.)  You
could argue that the world would be better off without middle managers,
but my boss does a pretty good job of preventing the rain of shit from
above from hitting me.  As I said before, I'm grateful he's there, and I
am happy he has chances to be compensated for his pain.

	Eric Lucas

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