NEWS COMMENTARY DISCUSSES WHETHER STRIKE IS ABLE TO RESOLVE CHALLENGES IN INSTITUTIONS
In recent times, Ghana, a God-fearing nation has witnessed a number of strikes by groups, individuals and institutions. These may have resorted to strike as a redress or panacea to a problem. One may ask whether the answer to a problem in an institution or misunderstanding among workers and management or a clarion call for attention for salary increase, book allowance, postings for employment, grievances over examination lapses, construction of roads and provision of social amenities is to embark on a strike.
Strike is not the answer to any of the listed questions, it has never been the answer and it will never be the answer or the panacea to solving a problem or a dispute. This is so because after days or weeks of a strike it is finally called off and Life still goes on in the institution, community, church or what have you. Strike occurs both in secular institutions and also the church. There are instances where church doors are locked and worship is abandoned due to disagreements over leadership and petty issues. When doctors embark on strike, what do they gain? When teachers, nurses, judiciary staff, Lecturers, Tewu, Law students, members of a community or church embark on a strike what do they gain? They gain nothing and it becomes an exercise in futility.
Industrial action depicts disloyalty to Authority, a show of not being sensitive to the plight of fellow beings who may be affected by the strike, it is a mark of disrespect to laid down procedures and an abuse of human Right, that is freedom of expression and association, and also a betrayal of the noble calling and profession we hold so dear and a complete waste of time. Strike exposes the internal issues of individuals, institutions and groups to the outside world. Everyone gets to know that you are agitating for either salary increase or allowance among others. Strike can be likened to a couple who are engaged in open confrontation with each other publicly amidst insult and harsh words over their internal disagreement while other couples keep their issues to themselves, pray about them, dialogue and solve it peacefully without the outside world knowing. Few weeks ago, some women traders threatened a strike over issues of stores allocation. They decided to strip themselves naked and hit the streets. Later they reconsidered their decision because they were going to be a laughing stock and will gain nothing.
Why is it that the military, other security agencies and some institutions do not embark on strike? Does it mean they do not have problems or issues among the rank and file as well as with government or the authorities, they do have, but they have realized that strike is not the answer in solving the problem. Durbars are organized, chain of command to express grievances are put in place and authorities meet government appointees from time to time to iron out issues. In real terms, the consequences of a strike to individuals as well as the community and the organization is always a bitter pill which can be avoided and the pill of negotiation and peaceful settlement can be swallowed. Strike brings to a standstill development and progress in any institution.
BY: VERY REVEREND MAJOR YAW BOATENG THE METHODIST CHURCH, KUMASI DIOCESE.