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Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Strikes” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Strikes

When workers as a body stop their work to compel their employers to concede to their demands, we say they have gone on strike. Strikes are a peculiar feature of the modern industrial life. They have assumed different forms and shapes such as tool-down strike, lie-down strike, pen-down strike and slow-down strike. In fact, they are but a symptom of some deep-routed malady in our economic life.

Modern strikes are the offspring of trade unions. Unionism has come into existence as a tool of self-defense against the capitalistic monopoly of industry. The workers soon realized that their retaliation at the excesses was possible only when they were organized and united. Before trade unions appeared on the scene, they experienced the worst exploitation at the hands of the capitalists. They were without education, without discipline and without unity. However, with the birth of trade unionism, the worker became aware of his strength in the teeth of opposition. The idea of unionism spread to almost all the vocational spheres of life. Through the outcome of capital-labour dispute, it became the medium of organizing people to seek redress and fight for their rights and justice. Strikes as a potent weapon thus remained confined not only to industrial disputes but made their appearance in almost all walks of life.

Strikes, though originally limited to industry, now affect almost all public services. The commonest strikes are industrial strikes, strikes by Government employees, strikes by students, strikes by workers in public services and the fresh addition is strikes by teachers for revision of their pay scales. The teachers have also brought about a new mode of refusal to work called “chalk-down strike”.

The most usual cause of strike by the factory workers is the question of wages. Other causes are the duration of working hours and the conditions under which the work is carried on. Besides, the labour unrest relates to bonus and the question of dismissal. The capitalist, who grows fat at the hard work of the labour, squeezes their life-blood and, at the same time, does not provide them even with living wages. Maximum work is extracted with least wages granted. The state of semi-starvation, hunger, despair, frustration, rising prices and the question of barest survival drives the working class to go on strike and raise their voice against injustice done to them.

Though the strikers are passive resisters, yet they adopt coercive measures and at times they become active oppressors. Suffering, bloodshed and even death come in its wake. Indiscriminate indulgence in rowdyism, damage to public property and harassment of peaceful citizens are the result. Thus, strikes and their frequency points towards the unhealthy sign of discontent among the people. It points out either to the thoughtlessness or heartlessness of the employers or the employees. In this context, when the workers in public services go on strike to raise their pay and prospects, they should seriously consider whether the public treasury is able to meet their demands, without having recourse to fresh taxation. Moreover, both the parties should meet and examine the situation. Often false prestige or unreasonable obstinacy stand in the way of settlement. It is men of extreme views on both sides who ultimately suffer. A little tact and a little patience will often avert a calamity.

The worst menace of strikes is grievously felt in the student community. They are as common in educational institutions as they are in other spheres of modern life. It is not only for the safeguarding of their privileges that students go on strike but the. slightest provocation is sufficient to indulge them in strikes. Discipline and orderly life on the campus is reduced to a mere farce. The students’ disinclination to study and feeling of protest against all that does not gratify their whims and fancies, has often resulted in virtual closure of the institutions for indefinite periods. The role of the political parties in this respect is shameful and anti-social. Today, the student in his heated passion causes damage to his own class rooms, furniture and even intends burning down the libraries. Thus, with the students strikes have become the agitational expression, not only of their demands but even for the issues which do not directly affect them. He is the most willing victim and the convenient weapon used for disrupting the national life and indulging in anti-social activities.

There are numerous benefits of strikes. The workmen are no longer at the mercy of their employers as they were before. They cannot be tyrannized and better treatment is meted out to them and only reasonable work can be taken from them. The workers have learnt the lesson of unity, co-operation and mutual accord. They have secured enormous benefits for the working classes—higher wages, shorter working hours, better conditions of work, better housing, educational and medical facilities, etc. However, the dangers of strikes are also numerous. At the present day when India requires industrial peace and increased production, strikes involve huge financial loss due to stoppage of work, and at times the demands are unfair or unjust. Moreover, the poor labourers live from hand to mouth and do not save anything to live by in difficult times. Strikes mean stoppage of work and to bring privation and miseries to the workers. Strikes create bad blood between employers and employees, and lead to bitterness and strained relationship. The harmony and peace is disturbed and remains so to perpetually affect the work and the output.

It is true that without a radical change in the economic system the strikes will continue to occur. But even in the present state of things, something can be done to redress the just grievances of the labour and thereby minimize the chances of strikes. The Government has also to play the vital role in bringing about conciliation to prevent industrial unrest. The Industrial Tribunals and the Workers’ Committees in every factory must provide continuous and steady consultations both to labour and management to avert the tragedy. The arbitrations and peaceful negotiations must be sought as a remedy and mutual concessions should bring .about peace and concord because only under such circumstances can be the nation grow and prosper.

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