A strike is a form of protest that consists of failing to carry out the assigned tasks, with the aim of harming the people or institutions to which the complaints are directed.

In this way, the objective is an improvement, in different aspects, of those involved in it. It is one of the legitimate means available to citizens to claim their rights. In fact, today this type of social protest activity is legal in most countries of the world.

Origin of the strike

According to historians, the first known strike was in the reign of Ramses III in Egypt. Well, if it could be considered that way, sure. However, the first labor movements are located in England between 1810- and 1811 with the so-called Luddism. Its promoter was Ned Ludd (hence Luddism) and he called himself "the breakers of machines."

With the appearance of the workers' groups, the concept of the "working class" became relevant. This, together with the appearance of anarchist, communist or socialist parties, led to the legalization of this protest activity, especially in the workplace. With the appearance of Karl Marx's "Capital", this movement achieved a theoretical framework on which to build and grow.

Strike types

The best known form of strike is labor, which can be of various types. But in addition, there are other types of strikes. We are going to show a possible classification:

By area we can talk about:

  • Consumer strike. Stopping consuming some goods.
  • Hunger strike. Usually the striker stops eating.
  • Student strike. It usually occurs especially in universities and demands improvements in them.

Of course we have our own labor strike, which can be:

  • Of zeal. It consists of being meticulous at work with the aim of lowering performance in the activity.
  • With downcast arms. Contrary to the previous one, in this case inactivity is promoted.
  • A curious case is that of fallen pens, in which the police refuse to issue fines.

On the other hand, other classifications can also be given. Due to their extension, they can be general or specific. Depending on whether or not they are legal. Finally, we can speak of indefinite or established for a certain period of time.

Some considerations about the term

In most countries the same term is used, with its different translations. However, there are some exceptions. For example, in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador or Peru they refer to it as «unemployment». However, in other countries such as Ecuador, the term in question refers to workers and unemployment to employers.

In Spain, the strike comes to mean the unemployment of the workers, for the sake of a claim. However, to refer to that situation in which the company decides to stop, the term used is "lockout". Normally the latter must meet a series of requirements to be legal.

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