Workers have the freedom to withdraw their labor, as a way to protest something they feel is not being done right. Take, for instance, a scenario where workers are being underpaid, and efforts to get the management to increase their wages have not borne fruit. It sometimes becomes necessary (and justified) for them to withdraw their labor, in protest. What we are making reference to here is not permanent withdrawal of labor – where all the workers in an organization resign en mass. On the contrary, what we are making reference to is a scenario where the workers temporarily withdraw their labor, to get their employers to understand their plight.
Strike action tends to be highly effective, in getting employers to listen to workers’ concerns. But there also are limits placed to this right. For if the workers have the freedom to strike every time they disagree with their employers, the economy is likely to stall. Furthermore, some workers are providers of essential services, and if they are allowed to strike, the result can be a huge mess in the society. If, for instance, all soldiers were to go on strike, the nation would remain undefended. If all police officers were to go on strike, you can imagine the mess we would end up with. Ditto the doctors and other medical staff. That is why some groups of workers are simply not allowed to strike.
And even for those who are allowed to strike, there are limits that are placed to the enjoyment of this freedom.
To ensure that strikes don’t become too disruptive, there is usually a clause that urges workers to explore all other options, before striking. Striking is supposed to be a last resort.
Of course, most employers are proactive, and won’t let their employees get to a point of going on strike. This is why employers go to great lengths, to protect the welfare of their employees. For instance, it has now become standard practice nowadays for employers to have HR portals, (like the one accessible at krowd.darden.com) through which their employees can access all work-related resources they need. With the said Krowd self-service portal, folks who work at the Darden restaurants find that they don’t have to visit HR offices whenever they have issues. This is just one of the many ways in which employers get to show their workers that they care about their welfare. The ultimate objective, in doing so, is to avoid employee-related disruptions – including those that are caused by workers’ strikes.