On Strike

10 08 2010

Some things I’ll just never understand…

Or, being a tad more honest, I think I do understand them (some of them, at least), and instead simply opt to seem oblivious to the rest of the world. If you don’t have anything nice or useful to say, don’t say it, right? Well, I think I might break that rule for once.

The various teachers unions, or whoever they are, are currently on strike here in South Africa. Why? Because they want an increase. The government already upped their offer from 4 to 7%, but still the union won’t budge an inch. They’re hoping for an increase in wages (plus a housing allowance!) between 10 and 13% – I heard as much on the radio – though they might settle for 8.6%… if the government is lucky.

Strikes seem stupid to me. If these people don’t go to their jobs for a few days and lose their salaries (partially, I suppose), that’s probably another thing they’ll want to gripe about… although technically, one could argue that if they want to strike, they should be willing to suffer such a loss. Plus, don’t they think about the effect the strike is having on others? Take this strike with the teachers, for example. If teachers aren’t going to go to work, who is going to teach those children? Children whose parents pay for them to be in school, who pay for their children’s education (in hopes of a better future)… What of them?

That aside, I do understand why these people strike. It’s not as if teachers make the best salary one can come by. But let’s put even that aside, and ask ourselves a question: why do these bigwigs on the upper echelons of the corporate food chain get paid such large salaries, when we, as their ‘underlings’ – tax payers, employees, those they should be watching out for – don’t see the results of their reigning powers? Do they need hundreds, no, millions of thousands of rands as salaries, not to mention their constant increases and the fancy cars they drive and the expensive ‘business trips’ they go on without having to pay a cent? How is that fair?

If it’s fair to them, then I suppose it ‘doesn’t matter’ *pfft*

Although I feel divided about this whole strike, I hope the teachers come off better than the poor Canadians in that one South Park episode where they (the Canadians, of course) go on strike – hundreds of people dead or starved, nobody seemingly caring that they were on strike, and ending up with a type of ‘consolation prize’ at the end…

Oh, wait, I think that sounds just about right for what’ll end up happening here.

"It's Canadaaaa... on strike!"

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