The word ‘strike’ is a very familiar word in these days. People always hear of strikes in mills and factories and in means of public conveyance like buses and taxis, even among railway employees. There is nothing of physical violence in strike : it means organised stoppage of work by workers on account of some grievance against the management.
Strikes may be said to be the natural result of modern industrial system. This system allows a great disparity in the incomes of different classes of people. The result is a conflict between capital and labour. The capitalists have control over management. So they can easily manage to get the lion’s share of the profit, leaving only a bare minimum for the workers. Naturally the latter cannot tolerate this state of affairs. They claim that as they play an important part in the management of their concerns, they also have right to share in the profits made by their labour. They demand higher salaries, higher bonuses, and other amenities for a better way of life. They regard their demands as legitimate, and stick to them as long as possible or until a settlement is arrived at.
Strikes often cause great sufferings to the workmen. They do not generally get any salary for the strike period. A continued strike may lead to the closure of the mill or factory concerned or to transfer to a distant place.
In short, though a strike is a legitimate weapon for workers, it must not be used until all peaceful means have been tried for solution of the dispute.