Comment: Strike Action

Vanitas Still-Life by Edwart Collier


Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention, please! I promise to be extremely brief...

The Portuguese civil servants were on strike last Thursday. Portugal is in an economic crisis and the unions decided that the best thing to do was to go on strike to protest against the government (which is doing its utmost to clean up the mess left by the Left)...really smart and productive.

It must be a true blessing to work for the government: you go to work, you produce (or not); you disrespect tax payers (basically, your true boss); you get paid at the end of the month; you get to complain all the time and you play havoc with the lives of those who pay your salary (i.e. tax payers) on the day someone decides you must go on strike...dreamy!
If I, as an independent political consultant, would ever dream of going on strike, whom would I take a strike action against? Let me think: maybe that special client of mine (to whom I service with valuable information) that owes me big time since January? I can’t imagine what sort of satisfaction he may retrieve from not paying his due, however I can picture him laughing his eyes out if I’d sit in front of his building holding a banner vociferating improprieties against him...nightmarish!

I understand that strike actions were born in the midst of the Industrial Revolution, a time when workers were exploited (including children and women [who didn’t have the right to vote yet had the right to be scandalously exploited]); I comprehend work stoppages are meant to exert pressure and demand for better conditions; I appreciate that strikes may help forcing governments to change their policies...I understand it well in times of prosperity.
I do not understand, however, how during an economic crisis (in many countries, provoked by the incompetence of socialist governments with the connivance of the People) national citizens reject setting aside partisanship and refuse to come together to make their nation rise from the ashes. I do not comprehend how a citizen can commit itself to further ruin its country. I do not appreciate when people go after leftist demagogy without questioning that nefarious practice and commit treacherous acts, such as senseless strikes when the country needs them the most.

Strikes today are no longer about workers’ rights.
Strikes today are sheer political instruments that sometimes border anti-patriotic acts.

Thank you, Ladies and Gents, for listening; you are a beautiful audience...

Comments

  1. For me, dear Max, the distinction lies in who is striking, and towards what end. If a strike is held to protest real inequity or injustice, that is one thing. If on the other hand, a strike is used purely as an instrument of manipulation for the dubious goals of an entrenched and spoiled bureaucracy, that is something else.

    Thank you for inviting us to think about it. I'm sorry that your country is in crisis, as is ours.

    I love the image you chose for your post, and the gorgeous lush blue background!

    My best regards to you, my friend!

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  2. Dear Max.. beautiful post.. First of all I love new look of your blog.. its wonderful.
    love the picture as well..
    take care
    Preity Angel

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  3. I wouldn't have much of a problem with strikes if the unions didn't force their workers to strike (or indeed to be part of the union in the first place). If they provide a service that's needed, I'm fine with them using it as leverage to better their position in life, but the way the workers are pressured so heavily to strike seems unfair.

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  4. Je renonce à écrire sur ce blog ( que j'aime tant )en raison de l'inconfort de la lecture et des commentaires, qui me sont plus que difficiles à capter.
    Désolée Max, tendresse pour toi.
    Sérénité.

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  5. Max, I didn't understand last thursday's strike: will it produce any tangible effect? No. Will the government halt the austerity measures? No.
    I didn't see the left going on strike when PM Socrates and his buddies were messing the country up; I didn't see them fight for the rights of the civil servants when PM Socrates announced salary freezes, layoffs etc etc.

    Anyway, strikes are protected under the Portuguese constitution (which definitely needs to be reformed and that is why I voted for Passos Coelho) and I think the constitution should protect the people whenever unions decide to call for strikes (the majority suffers at each stoppage and it is not right nor just).

    Total # working population (in Portugal): +/- 7 million.
    Total # civil servants: +/- 700,000.

    See what I mean?

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  6. Hi Max,

    My last comment just got lost.

    I agree with everything here. There are so many levels of deception that it's hard to decipher the puppets from the puppet masters. Some strikes instigate chaos and violence while others implement positive changes. There is so much more that I can say but I am afraid I won't stop. Keep fighting the good fight my friend. (I hope this comment doesn't get lost.) (Fingers crossed)

    Positive Changes Cheers!

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  7. Our right of center political establishment too is up to shenanigans. They are supporting an all Indian strike by all trading establishments tomorrow. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/retail-fdi-traders-call-bharat-bandh/880875/

    Right or Left, makes no difference any more. Political agendas are being played out at the common man's cost.

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  8. Hi Lynda :D!

    "If a strike is held to protest real inequity or injustice, that is one thing. If on the other hand, a strike is used purely as an instrument of manipulation for the dubious goals of an entrenched and spoiled bureaucracy, that is something else."

    Equality is relative (but that is another post); but yeah I know exactly what you mean and I agree.

    "Thank you for inviting us to think about it. I'm sorry that your country is in crisis, as is ours."

    Don't mention it. Besides, thank YOU for accepting the invitation *bowing*. Don't be sorry, the Portuguese (as a whole) caused it; but it will be solved.

    "I love the image you chose for your post, and the gorgeous lush blue background!"

    Why, thank you. That image is superb; the minute I saw it I nearly fell in love with it.

    "My best regards to you, my friend!"

    Thanks, darling and likewise :D.

    Lynda, thank you ever so much for your superb input :D.

    Cheers

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  9. Hi Angel :D!

    "Dear Max.. beautiful post.. First of all I love new look of your blog.. its wonderful. love the picture as well.."

    My darling, thank you so much *bowing*. I am ever so glad you love it :D.

    My dear Angel, thank you so much for having dropped by: always a pleasure :D.

    Cheers

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  10. Hi Vid :D!

    "I wouldn't have much of a problem with strikes if the unions didn't force their workers to strike (or indeed to be part of the union in the first place)."

    Agreed.

    "If they provide a service that's needed, I'm fine with them using it as leverage to better their position in life, but the way the workers are pressured so heavily to strike seems unfair."

    You are right about that.

    Vid, thank you so so much for your superb comment :D.

    Cheers

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  11. Salut Sérénité :D!

    "Je renonce à écrire sur ce blog ( que j'aime tant )en raison de l'inconfort de la lecture et des commentaires, qui me sont plus que difficiles à capter."

    Vraiement? Je suis désolée, ma chère. Je peux t'assurer qu'on te manquera :).

    "Désolée Max, tendresse pour toi."

    Ne t'en fais pas et merci beaucoup pour l'effort et pour ta sagesse :D.

    Je t'embrasse

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  12. Hi Ana :D!

    "Max, I didn't understand last thursday's strike: will it produce any tangible effect? No. Will the government halt the austerity measures? No."

    True, it won't produce any tangible results. Did you hear the movement of 15 de Outubro (or something like that) accusing the government of infiltrating cops in last week's protest to cause riots? They are trying to convince us that those who broke shop windows were cops and not leftist thugs...how low can they go...

    "I didn't see the left going on strike when PM Socrates and his buddies were messing the country up; I didn't see them fight for the rights of the civil servants when PM Socrates announced salary freezes, layoffs etc etc."

    Of course not: the Portuguese left stands (and steals) together. It wouldn't look good to attack a comrade...come on!

    "Anyway, strikes are protected under the Portuguese constitution (which definitely needs to be reformed and that is why I voted for Passos Coelho) and I think the constitution should protect the people whenever unions decide to call for strikes (the majority suffers at each stoppage and it is not right nor just)."

    I voted for Passos Coelho but he must think carefully about which of the articles in the constitution he wants to reform. Nevertheless, I see where you are coming from: indeed the constitution should protect the majority that doesn't necessarily agree with the minority.

    Ana, thank you so so much for your fab comment (as always) :D.

    Cheers

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  13. Hi Lady A :D!

    "My last comment just got lost."

    Oh no! Blogger must be doing some needed updates...I am so sorry for the inconvenience :(.

    "There are so many levels of deception that it's hard to decipher the puppets from the puppet masters. Some strikes instigate chaos and violence while others implement positive changes. There is so much more that I can say but I am afraid I won't stop. Keep fighting the good fight my friend."

    True. lol aaahh, now you made me curious; you should never stop lol ;). Thanks, girl: you too!

    "(I hope this comment doesn't get lost.) (Fingers crossed)"

    It did get through, thank God.

    Lady A, thank you ever so much for your amazing input :D.

    Definitely Positive Changes Cheers

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  14. Hi Rummy :D!

    "Our right of center political establishment too is up to shenanigans. They are supporting an all Indian strike by all trading establishments tomorrow."

    Thanks for the link, my friend. When I read, last week, that India was going to allow foreign retailers to invest there I immediately thought that some parties would use this to get leverage (you know, juggle with the nationalist side in people) *nodding*. As for the strike: useless, because I don't see the government backing down (a lot of money involved).

    "Right or Left, makes no difference any more. Political agendas are being played out at the common man's cost."

    You are so right; I wish you weren't but you are. That is why politics needs to be reformed.

    Rummy, outstanding comment: thank you ever so much :D.

    Cheers

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  15. These discussions always remind me of wading through the filth at the Charles De Gaulle Airport outside of Paris when a custodian strike had been underway for a week. I still can't understand why civilized nations put up with such stuff.

    Out here in California the public sector unions are so powerful that they don't need to strike, although I wonder what would happen if the prison guard union did go on strike.

    So here is my speculation: When California unions are aggrieved over earning less than $120,000 per year, they would rather just threaten the politicians and keep going to their office and pretending to work rather than strike. European workers, on the other hand, prefer to strike rather than going to the office. You probably have a better vantage point to see such things, so do European unions behave differently from American ones?

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  16. Hi Looney :D!

    "These discussions always remind me of wading through the filth at the Charles De Gaulle Airport outside of Paris when a custodian strike had been underway for a week. I still can't understand why civilized nations put up with such stuff."

    Oh the French and strike actions are the worst thing on this world. I swear they have a Strike & Protest Calendar *nodding*. I don't know why the so-called civilised nations put up with it either...

    "Out here in California the public sector unions are so powerful that they don't need to strike, although I wonder what would happen if the prison guard union did go on strike."

    That is interesting. I wish the Portuguese public sector unions were powerful, but mostly intelligent.
    If the prison guard union went on strike I think the national guard would be deployed...in Portugal, the government wouldn't even be able to do that if it wanted (it is unconstitutional).

    "So here is my speculation: When California unions are aggrieved over earning less than $120,000 per year, they would rather just threaten the politicians and keep going to their office and pretending to work rather than strike. European workers, on the other hand, prefer to strike rather than going to the office."

    I think that is a much smarter move: at least it puts even more pressure than strikes.
    European workers are not thinking it through...and they need to cause their strategy is obsolete and governmental change will eventually thwart their comfortable obsolete plans.

    "You probably have a better vantage point to see such things, so do European unions behave differently from American ones?"

    Absolutely. American unions seem to do whatever to keep people working, whereas European unions use people to do politics (because most of the times their strike actions achieve nothing, change even less...so what is the point?) and the proof of it is the example you offered us above.

    Looney, outstanding comment for which I thank you a million times :D.

    Cheers

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  17. Olá Max,

    I only have one thing to say; or rather one quote to share:

    "There are two ways of sabotaging the right to strike: to regulate it, like the Right does; or to use it for all and for nothing, like the Communist Party does" - François Mitterrand.

    Tchau

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  18. Olá Celeste :D!

    «"There are two ways of sabotaging the right to strike: to regulate it, like the Right does; or to use it for all and for nothing, like the Communist Party does" - François Mitterrand.»

    He was so right.

    Celeste, thanks for sharing this amazing quote with us (it was the cherry on top of the cake) :D.

    Cheers

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