Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Is Worker Discontent on the Rise?

Readers of either this site or either my San Francisco or national sites cannot have avoided learning about the current strike of the musicians of the San Francisco Symphony. However, it would appear that worker discontent is breaking out in a variety of different countries. The very source that inspired this article, BBC News, has just run a story about their own workers voting for a strike action. Shortly before that one was filed, a report was released that Lufthansa was canceling 500 flights in advance of a planned five-hour walkout by 33,000 employees.

I have to wonder whether or not these are symptoms of a broader pandemic of worker discontent. The fact is that, however comfortable the financial sector may be about markets having recovered from the economic catastrophe of the last decade, that recovery has not really been felt beyond the limited domains of an elite class whose only expertise is the ability to turn fictions of convenience into exchangable value. The unemployment problem has not yet been resolved in any substantive way. Those who do have jobs tend to find them tenuous with inadequate compensation and basically no job satisfaction. Is this conjunction of articles about strikes a sign that the workers of the world may once again be entertaining thoughts of uniting?

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