Reminder: Strikes Work

Photo: AP

After a nine-week strike, thousands of Mariott Hotel workers in San Francisco won a contract with significant wage increases and better benefits. How did they do this? Strike. Strikes work.

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In Chicago, hundreds of teachers have gone on strike, seeking not only better salaries for themselves but better funding for their schools. Of course, we cannot predict what the final outcome of their strikes will be. But we can note that 2018 has seen statewide teachers strikes spanning America from Arizona to West Virginia, and the vast majority of them have already resulted in better pay and working conditions for those teachers. Why? Because strikes work.

Any employer, public or private, needs employees to do the work. If they did not need employees doing the work to make the place run, they would not have employees. If the employees refuse to work, the employer has a significant problem: the factory or store or restaurant or office or school or other enterprise is no longer operating. They may threaten or cajole or beg or scream, but after they have exhausted themselves with that, they will have to negotiate. An employer is nothing without employees. That is why strikes work.

A strike is a big deal. It is a last resort. It is a lot of work. It is a lot of stress. But when it is over, you will probably be better off than you were before. Because the bosses and the owners need all of you even more than you need them. If you have serious problems at work, unionize. And then, if you still have serious problems, consider a strike. They work.

Burning shit and smashing things in the street can work too. Strikes are the nice option :)

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Hamilton Nolan

Senior Writer. Hamilton@SplinterNews.com