Strike unethical? What a question, especially since the “right” to strike is enshrined in United Kingdom Law.

But what does striking really  involve?

Firstly, it involves blackmailing your employer. Give me what I want or I will damage your business/operation. I will make it so inconvenient for your customers/users that they will either spend their money elsewhere or put pressure on you to give me what I want.

Secondly, striking involves hurting innocent others to get what you want.  Strikers know their actions will make life difficult – that is their aim – so that customers and users  will complain and put pressure on employers to give in to strikers’ demands. The inconvenience to customers and user may be mild, such as having to get to work when tube and bus drivers strike. It could be more serious when your child’s education is hindered or you house may burn down when teachers and fire-fighters strike.

Don’t get me wrong – I think teachers and fire-fighters should be paid much more. But is hurting innocent others the ethical way to achieve this?

What else can you call blackmailing your employer and hurting innocent other to get what you want but “unethical”? Why do we sanitise striking with the phrase “industrial action”? Why don’t we call it waht it is “industrial blackmail”?

Note to editors Dr. Robb is available for expert opinion, interviews and comments on ethical matters. See About Us for Bill’s credentials.

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