Is a Strike the Answer?

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A strike is a concerted stoppage of work by men done with a view to improving their wages or condition of employment, giving vent to a grievance or making a protest about something. It is on record that the first known strike or workers' uprising was embarked on by the artisans of the Royal Necropolis at Deir e- Madina on November 14 1152, under the reign of Pharaoh Ramses the third in ancient Egypt. Their core demand was an increase in wages and an improvement in other working conditions. The impact of the strike was so great that the authorities had never seen or heard of any such rebellion. In the end, the authorities had to give in to some of the demands of the workers, especially the raise in their wages.

In Nigeria, the first strike was recorded on June 21st, 1945, after the failure of protracted presentations to the government for salary increases to meet the very high cost of living at that time. The Nigerian civil service came together in a general strike of all Government Departments. Since then, the incident of strikes in Nigeria has been on the increase and unabated. Strikes are usually reserved as the last weapon during negotiation between management and the union, which may occur just before or immediately after the negotiation fails.

Teachers, doctors, civil servants, industrial workers and other workers should have good working conditions and good pay. Collective bargaining or strikes most times occur when an employer ignores or breaches a term of an agreement. Strikes help to keep employers in check and not breach the employee and employer contract or agreement, knowing the negative effect of strikes. I think strikes seem to be the most effective way the government or employers meet the demands of their employees if negotiation between the two parties does not work. In my opinion, strikes should be allowed.

Thank you.

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  • I agree that a strike is the only way for employers to meet the demands of the employees, however, what can employees do if their demands are not been heard even after they have gone on strike?