A Business Encyclopedia


Definition: In business terms, a strike can be understood as a curtailment of work, due to the collective refusal of workers to work, which occurs as a response to employee grievances. It involves, dropping out of work by any number of workers, employed in a particular industry, with an aim of creating pressure on the employers, to accept their demands relating to pay scale, working conditions, trade practices and so forth.

A strike is a situation in which the workers act in concert for stopping or denying to resume work. The relationship between the employer and employee continue to exist though in a state of hostile suspension.

Causes of Strike

  • Dispute relating to minimum wages.
  • Salary and incentive issues.
  • Increment is not up to the performance.
  • Dissatisfaction with the policies of the company.
  • Hours of work and interval timings.
  • Holidays and leaves with pay.
  • Bonus, Provident Fund, and gratuity.
  • Withdrawal of any facility or allowance.
  • Wrongful dismissal of workmen.

The most obvious reason of strike is the non-payment of wages or salaries to the workers of the factory by the employers.

Types of Strike

  1. Hunger Strike: Strike in which the employees go on fasting, near the workplace or at the residence of the employer, to force him/her redress their grievances is called hunger strike.
  2. Economic Strike: Economic Strike is the cessation of work by the labors with an aim of imposing their economic demands like wages and bonus.

    In such strike, the workers raise their voices to increase their pay, improve working conditions, facilitate them with allowances, perquisites, and add-on benefits.

  3. Stay-in Strike: A type of strike, in which the employees come to the office, as usual, take their seats but do not work and also deny to leave the office premises, when asked to do so.

    When such an act is performed in combination, it amounts to stay-in strike. Alternately called as sit-down, pen-down or tool-down strike.

  4. Go-slow Strike: Otherwise called as a slow-down strike, is one in which the workers do not stop working, but slow down the entire process by deliberately delaying the production, which results in the reduction of output.

    This amounts to a serious case of misconduct, whereby the workmen pretend to be engaged in the work and entitled to full wages. It is more harmful than the complete cessation of work by employees, as the resources get wasted, due to delayed working of employees.

  5. Sympathetic Strike: A type of strike in which the workers of one department, unit, division, or industry, go on strike, in support of the workers of another department, unit, division, or industry, who are already on strike.

    This may be an unjustified seizure of rights of the employer, who is not even involved in the conflict.

Strike is one of the powerful tool of collective bargaining, used by trade unions and labor associations to compel the employer to grant several concessions. It can also be used to protest certain terms of former or proposed agreement amidst the labor and management.

A prolonged strike may resultĀ in lock-out, which is a strategy used by employers to make trade unions settle down with their terms.

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