Nov 30, 2006

thoughts on the strike

The strike is over. The Labor Courts last night declared the strike must be ended immediately and that the workers must return to work.

I do not know which side is right in this case. I feel horrible about the poor employees who have not had their salaries paid in months, but it is not so clear the government is at fault for that.

Regardless of who is at fault, I think the strike was wrong. Maybe they should have held a more limited strike and it would have been more appropriate. Maybe shut down a few of the government offices that were involved in the problem.

It was wrong to shut down the airport and cause aggravation to travellers. People have lost lots of money because of the strike, along with lots of time and anxiety. They have had business trips delayed causing losses, vacations must be rescheduled effecting cancellation and rescheduling fees, etc. The one port of entry to Israel should be excluded from any strike. It should be made illegal for airport employees to strike.

The trains should not have been on strike. People just want to get to work and home. It took me 2 hours to get home from work last night. I had to take a bus to the bus station to get another bus that takes a circuitous route to my home. I had to pay extra (I already have a monthly ticket on the train) because of the strike. I had to find rides at times. I had to sit cramped in overcrowded buses because regular methods of transportation were not available. The trains have nothing to do with the issues of the strike.

The ports should not have been closed. Israel lost millions of shekels because of ports closed. No imports were let in and no exports were let out. The ports have nothing to do with the problems of the strike.

The kindergartens should not have been affected. The assistants had no reason to strike. By law with no assistant in the kindergarten, the teacher cannot open the clss, unless there is a voluntary replacement (who meets certain requirements). That means people had to stay home from work to take care of their kids who had no school, or alternatively take their kid to work with them if possible.

All the strikers did was lose support among the general public. People feel bad for them. people were saying that this strike was sort of justified. After a day of spending hours trying to figure out how to get to and from work in very uncomfortable and expensive methods, people changed their tunes. By the end of the day yesterday there was very little supprot for the unpaid workers. People were grumbling why they had to suffer like this and there was no reason for such a large strike.

I came to a revelation. If you want to lose your cause (marketing-wise) go on strike. it is the quickest way to lose support. You might get a short term victory because you hold someone over the barrel with few choices but in the long run you have lost. You hurt people who had nothing to do with the problem and lost all their support.


  1. I'm just now hearing about this strike.
    The workers had not been paid in several months? Whatever happened to paying a worker's wages on the same day? Look it up, it's in Devarim, chapter something-or-another.

  2. sholom you are 100% correct. However that does not apply being we are not in a halachic state rather a democratic and capitalistic state. The powers that be are not interested in the passuk in devarim.
    That being said, a point that I did not mention, because I think it does not matter, is that almost all the municipalities that have not paid their employees and are the cause of the strike are Arab municipalities.


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