Socialism in action! The Royal Mail has been on strike on and off for the last couple of weeks, throwing all mail delivery into chaos.
Ok, ok, strike actions are not a socialist phenomena, but rather an attribute of a healthy and democratic industrial society. Yet, it is in those industrial countries whose laws provide the workers with the most social protection and benefits that the strikes are most common. You don’t have to live in France to know that one union or another strikes over there practically every week. England is not far behind.
I think that there is obvious cause and effect here. The more laws are being passed to ensure the well-being and “rights” of an employee, the more that employee, en masse, feels entitled to demand more. And if the demands are not met, the unionized worker’s approach is to stop working altogether, which is not that much of a hardship in a social-programs-rich country: Medicine is free, schools are free, housing is often subsidized…
Belonging to a somewhat elite profession, I clearly cannot understand everyday plight of a mail carrier or an auto-factory worker. But if I were to decide to stop working due to not being happy with my employer, the outcome would be singularly termination. Instead, my recourse for a less-than-agreeable treatment is to take my services elsewhere. It befuddles me that a unionized worker’s m.o. is to say, effectively, I do not like how I am being treated, so in return I’ll stop providing my services, but you still have to retain my services and actually start treating me better, because I am entitled to providing my services to you, but under better conditions… Absurd!
And some of the striking unions seem to be at it every few months or so. Does their moderate success in using strikes as negotiating tactic encourages them to repeat?
Oops, the entry turns out overly opinionated and political, even though my initial intent was to simply mention the following related curiosity.
Rich people that we are, we ordered a case of wine that we could not find in stores from a distributor. That was on Thursday. The distributor called us on Sunday morning, apologized for disturbance and inquired whether we would be willing to accept delivery by a courier. You see, with the Royal Mail strike, we are unsure whether we can provide satisfactory service, so we decided to hire a courier for deliveries, explained the guy.
We did not decline.