Strike action

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Strike action, also called labor strike, labour strike, on strike, greve (of French: grève), or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became common during the Industrial Revolution, when mass labor became important in factories and mines.

Quotes[edit]

  • We shall Strike. We shall pursue the revolution we have proposed. We are sons of the Mexican Revolution, a revolution of the poor seeking, bread and justice. Our revolution will not be armed, but we want the existing social order to dissolve, we want a new social order. We are poor, we are humble, and our only choices is to Strike in those ranchers where we are not treated with the respect we deserve as working men, where our rights as free and sovereign men are not recognized. We do not want the paternalism of the rancher; we do not want the contractor; we do not want charity at the price of our dignity. We want to be equal with all the working men in the nation; we want just wage, better working conditions, a decent future for our children. To those who oppose us, be they ranchers, police, politicians, or speculators, we say that we are going to continue fighting until we die, or we win. 'We shall overcome.
  • There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.
    • Calvin Coolidge, as governor of Massachusetts, telegram to Samuel Gompers (September 14, 1919), regarding the Boston police strike. Reported in Calvin Coolidge, Have Faith in Massachusetts (1919), p. 223.
  • Although recourse must always be had first to a sincere dialogue between the parties, a strike, nevertheless, can remain even in present-day circumstances a necessary, though ultimate, aid for the defense of the workers' own rights and the fulfillment of their just desires.
  • Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought. Strike against manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder. Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human beings. Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction. Be heroes in an army of construction.
  • I am glad to know that there is a system of labor where the laborer can strike if he wants to! I would to God that such a system prevailed all over the world.
    • Abraham Lincoln, speech at Hartford, Connecticut (March 5, 1860), as reported in the Hartford Daily Courant (March 6, 1860), reported in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953), vol. 4, p. 7.


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