Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Strike!


After seeing news of a strike at Boing I realized that we rarely ever see strikes any more. Memorable strikes in my memory were the Postal strike back in 1970, the UPS strike in 1997, the Air Traffic Controller Strike of 1984. Garbage strikes in New York City were always memorable. We hear of the occasional teacher strike in individual districts. Last year there was the Writers strike.

It seems like we never see striking like we used to in the 60s and 70s. If strikes happen they quickly fade from view in the media.

I was talking with our visitors from France about strikes. They said there is seemingly a strike in France every day, but they are aren’t total walk out and picket strikes like we have here. What will happen there is that the truck drivers will get pissed off about something and they will have a one-day demonstration to show how miserable life will be without them. The next day it will be the bus drivers. The next day the butchers will stage an event, then the taxi drivers, then the post office… Every day it is another branch of organized labor that puts on a show. People that live there would love to have a weekly list of what organizations plan an uprising just so they can plan to get through their daily lives with minimal interruption.

It doesn’t seem like the modern day American strikes work. I’ve heard that if a worker is on the picket line for more than two weeks they will rarely ever make up the loss of income from the strike over the next period of their contract. Maybe the French day of inconvenience is the way to go to get a message across, though I’m not sure how well it is working over there. It must have some limited success or why would they continue this ritual every day.

8 Comments:

Blogger weese said...

perhaps it just makes for a nice day off.

I am going to see if I can start a 'software analyst' strike today.

Luckily I have these in my cubicle:
http://weese.blogspot.com/2008/03/office-supplies.html

which may help

7:55 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Is this a test? You are baiting me to make fun of the French, aren't you?

9:40 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Weese, are you working for Syd these days?

Syd, like you ever need to be baited...

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

Once in a blue moon I go on strike w/ housework.

12:33 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

But, Ginger, it all comes back on you eventually. Same rule applies, after two weeks you lose any ground you thought you made.

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

Not necessarily. The clean up is a group effort and In the long run (mind you, this is a work in progress when it comes to kids and husbands) I have gained an appreciation from those who have gone w/o clean dishes, clothes, etc. They are more likely to pitch in on a regular basis, remembering what it is like w/o Mom there to do most of the basics. I think the first "strike", took about a week for them to figure things out. I have been w/ my husband for over 20 years...so like I said, once in a blue moon :)

11:21 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

I alway got a kick outta the Japanese workers on strike. With the exception of rail workers, who posted numerous notices everywhere that they would hold a strike on a given day, the Japanese unions would strike by holding a protest rally prior to morning calisthenics and then work as usual while wearing armbands signifying they were on strike. This so offended the bosses that they'd cave in so folks wouldn't think they treated workers unfairly.
What do you expect from a country where their version of mafia, the Yakusa, serves the police with formal notice when starting a new clan, branch office, or disbanding. Terribly polite folks over there.

1:31 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Good angle, Ginger.

Mike, it's a wonder they had such a strong military during the war.

7:43 AM  

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