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New SoCal Gas Policy on Equal Pay Questioned

July 07, 1991

It is astounding that clerical workers can earn $35,000 per year via canned menu-driven computer programs written by the real brains behind the magic show.

These people merely process orders in an in-box. The job is worth $20,000 in tight competitive markets and $12,000 elsewhere. Big private companies such as GE and IBM can experiment with equal pay until the competition stiffens (and it is) or the market turns down.

For a regulated monopoly to do the same is date-rape of the rate-paying public. The problem is not a lack of regard for the contributions of women, but a lack of female applicants for the tougher jobs.

SoCal should forget "equal pay" and apply a quota system to direct more women into the higher skilled jobs and more men (or part-time workers or college freshmen) into clerical work. This solution--while openly discriminatory--is fairer than the solution adopted by SoCal.

JOE C. WARNOCK

Fullerton

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