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Thread: On Strike - Are Strikes Really Worth It

  1. #1
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Jul 2003

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    Question On Strike - Are Strikes Really Worth It

    Ever walked a picket line? I did my first strike duty on Mon. evening. Boy was it cold. We are engaged in a rotating strike with other colleges. I don't know what effect it will have. It may progress to a general strike as early as next week!!!!!


  2. #2
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Jul 2003

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    Strikes are rarely fun but they are often necessary. Sometimes management needs a little incentive to actually remember that their employees are human beings with needs and wants. Employees deserve respect and a living wage, ETC.

    Hang in there.

  3. #3
    On the Ice
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    Dec 2004

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    I was on Strike for 3 weeks in November and December of 2003. Having worked with Dominion in Newfoundland (owned by Loblaw's) for 2 years and still receiving no raises whatsoever, I thought that a strike was appropriate. There were people who worked with me for 25-30 years and were still considered Part-time and with the part-time benefits, but working full time hours every week. We did get a slight wage increase of 50 cents an hour over 2 years (if you call that a raise...), improved drug insuarance and 25 full-time positions accross Newfoundland Stores. So after being on strike for 3 long weeks and only getting this slight wage increase, I think that the strike did absolutely nothing in our favour. But I guess that's the deal with big companies like Loblaws. They have lots of money to give out, but they're too stingy. Oh well...I hope everything will work out for you more so than it did for us. I no longer work there. After 3 years I decided to go back to University. So hopefully that will be the only strike I will ever see. Good Luck and dress warm!

  4. #4
    Idita-Rock-n-Roll Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
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    colleges are different than grade schools, our teachers were getting ready to strike, so the senior class beat them to it and we quit coming, quit doing the work, and basically forgot about the rules... they got pissed off at us saying we weren't being respectful to them

    I say it takes respect from both sides... you want to strike 2 months before we graduate, forget that! Why should students suffer?

    then again college students are PAYING for their classes, I hope they aren't suffering from any strikes

  5. #5
    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    My first thought about strikes is that you have to get an awfully big raise to make up for the income lost while on strike. A lot of times salary is just one of the things being negotiated. Benefits and working conditions are often at the core of strikes. Here in WV where the UMW (United Mine Workers) is king we have a history of some very long strikes that have torn communities and even families apart often resulting in violence. One of the last big coal mining strikes had the UMW calling for everyone to wear camo for solidarity. At schools there were little kids who wouldn't speak to other kids if they weren't wearing camo.

    In the late 70's a hospital workers union was trying to organize at the med center where I worked. I had just found out that I had got a promotion to what was at that time my dream job. The last day I was working at my old position I received a phone call while on duty from the person that I would be replacing in the new job. She proceeded to tell me how she had beed demoted because she was accused of organizing for the union while on the job when in fact she was only organizing while on her lunch break. Her family were all big UMW people so she new all of the union tricks and she had already filed a lawsuit against the med center. She threatened me that if I took HER job I would pay for it "one way or another" . I was young and idealistic enough that her threats made me that much more anti union. I really don't think that unions belong in health care facilities where human life can be compromised if workers do not show up when they are scheduled. A group of us who were all anti union decided that we would protest against the union organizers on our own time. A local funeral home let us use a very cheap casket that we set up in front of the hospital across from the union people. We took turns being the patient in the casket who would die if the union was allowed in the hospital. The first day we got yelled at both for and against us as well as the usual horn honks from passing cars. The second day one of the doctors sent us a large spray of red roses for the top of our casket to thank us. A few hours after the flowers arrived the union people started throwing fruit and eggs at us, LOL. In the end the union didn't get in. The nurse who I replaced was sent to one of the med center's smaller units to do penance for a few years and now has worked her way back up to assistant nursing administartor for one of the med center's main hospitals.

  6. #6
    Tripping on the Podium anya_angie's Avatar
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    Sep 2003

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    I'm reminded of the newsboys' strike in 1899. Things were even tougher back then, but they stuck to their guns. Of course the strike was a partial failure, but they chose to stand up for what they saw as a necessary action.

    Hope I'm not making a fool of myself LOL.

  7. #7
    ~ Evgeni's Sex Bomb ~
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    Toni, why did the teachers at your school consider a strike? Did you even try to see it from their point of view?

    While I would never do that to my students (I knew I wasn't going to get wealthy being a teacher), our administration seems to think that teachers are expendable, and are trying to give us a very low raise ($50 a year). We are paid pretty well for the area, so I wouldn't strike over it, but I understand that in some places, teachers are hugely underpaid for the work they do.

    My union (The NEA, the one Rod Paige called "terrorists;" good riddance to him) helps in other ways, though.

    Are strikes worth it? Sometimes. But in some professions (health care, education), I think something seriously terrible has to happen before considering a strike.

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