strikes


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Related to strikes: lockouts, Illegal Strikes

strikes

temporary stoppages of work by a group of employees in order to express a grievance or enforce a demand (Hyman, 1984).

The strike is a basic sanction possessed by employees, the threat of which plays a large part in INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS. However it is typically an act of last resort, and only one of the means by which INDUSTRIAL CONFLICT is expressed. The popular view, particularly in the UK, that strikes are a major problem ignores a number of factors:

  1. consideration of strikes in isolation is liable to mislead as to the overall character of industrial relations;
  2. the number of working days lost as the result of strikes is small compared with those lost as the result of illness or accidents;
  3. strikes vary in character, from brief stoppages to drawn out trials of strength;
  4. discussion of strikes is plagued by definitional and measurement problems. Statistics of strikes record numbers per year, the extent of labour force involvement, working days lost, industrial location, and immediate cause. However international differences in criteria and the unreliability of British data reduce the value of comparisons;
  5. researchers have found it difficult to establish any simple links between the incidence of strikes and economic performance. For all these reasons accounting for the causes and assessing the implications of strikes would seem to involve a degree of complexity little captured by either public discussion or official statistics. There is little doubt that single-factor explanations of strikes (e.g. the presence of agitators, faulty communications, etc.) are inadequate. More satisfactory explanations have considered the range of local and national factors which affect employees’ willingness and ability to undertake strikes, including the actions of employers and governments. See also TRADE(S) UNION, ARBITRATION AND CONCILIATION.
References in classic literature ?
The street- car strike in San Francisco had been broken.
They were thoroughly organized and well armed, and they were held in readiness to be hurled in special trains to any part of the country where labor went on strike or was locked out by the employers.
Perhaps it was a street-railway strike, was my thought; or perhaps there had been an accident and the power was shut off.
A general strike, it said, had been called all over the United States; and most foreboding anxieties were expressed concerning the provisioning of the great cities.
He had to come close in order to strike, and each time Joe baffled him and caught him in his arms.
Watson blocked the kick with his crossed arms and sprang to his feet so quickly that he was in a clinch with his antagonist before the latter could strike.
And he knew, further, that if he were to escape he must neither strike his assailant nor any of the men who opposed him.
It will be noted, in passing, that in this falling dream which is so familiar to you and me and all of us, we never strike bottom.
All this was in June; and before long the question was submitted to a referendum in the unions, and the decision was for a strike.
I came to see if maybe you could get me a place during the strike," the other replied.
But let me tell you-all that when the big strike sure does come, you-all'll do a little surface-scratchin' and muck-raking, but danged little you-all'll have to show for it.
Why was it necessary for men to quarrel and jangle, and strike and fight, all about the matter of getting work?