The scene to the left was part of the late night news last night. Fifteen hundred nurses, other professionals and technical workers from a large inner-city hospital in an area of Philadelphia where random shootings are frequent have gone on strike. As in, refusing to do their jobs. Not going to work.
In a time when unemployment is so high, when small businesses are closing right and left, when my friend told me yesterday that the company her husband works for is laying off 4000 people nationwide, these people are refusing to do their jobs.
The news reporter interviewed one woman who said that she was eating up her savings by being on strike. She actually has savings to squander as she refuses to do her job. Unlike another friend whose husband has been out of work for many months and is struggling to survive on unemployment compensation.
I have never had a lot of respect for people who go on strike. I've always thought, "If you don't like the conditions at the job you have, go work someplace else where you'll be happier."
In the current job market, maybe these nurses, other professionals, and technical workers would have a bit of a hard time finding a job where they'd be happier. But they are striking nonetheless. They are refusing to work. Possibly compromising the care and the lives of the patients in the hospital in this already depressed area of the city. Refusing to work at a job that they accepted, knowing the conditions of employment at the time they took the job. Choosing to march around carrying picket signs in a neighborhood where people would be grateful to have any job at all, much less a high-paying position that required a great deal of training.
Refusing to work.
I don't get it.