This first day of the month of May, popularly known as May Day, can mean different things to different people. For many, it heralds the beginning of spring, when you can finally stop running to weather.com to see if there's yet another late snowstorm coming and can start googling phrases like "weed killer" and "swimsuit sales." For others, especially if they live in some other country, or have certain political views, it means a day when you celebrate workers and, more often than not, protest conditions you see as unfair.According to InformationWeek's 2007 Salary Survey, many tech workers don't have an awful lot to protest about. According to the survey, base salaries for tech workers have risen after nearly three years of stagnant pay, and the number of managers and staffers who feel secure in their jobs has risen as well.
However, the rise is only evident in certain job categories, such as systems integration and data mining. The lower-paid grunt workers who labor at help desks, Web design, and general IT aren't earning nearly as much and aren't seeing a similar rise. (If you find yourself in those categories, or in a similarly worrisome position, you might want to check out the How-To IT Career Guide: 7 Critical Strategies, From Getting Started To Semiretiring.)
But if there are any May Day protests happening among technophiles, it's unlikely to concern stagnant salaries or low job morale. Instead, they're probably rallying around issues such as the Internet Radio Equality Act, a bill that has just been introduced in the House of Representatives to offset the recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board to raise the royalty rates for Internet radio sites. The decision, according to representatives of these sites, could force many Webcasters such as AccuRadio and Pandora out of business, and is set to go into effect May 15.