Your Critical Thinking Analysis should be two pages double-spaced, discussing the issue presented emphasizing the connections between business, law, politics, and ethics.
THINKING CRITICALLY ABOUT RELEVANT LEGAL ISSUES
Despite the claim that a strike is the “ultimate weapon” for workers, strikes are never in the interest of workers. Strikes are an outdated tool that cannot work now, and were never all that effective. It does not make sense for workers to rush to an ineffective extreme and go on strike. If workers stopped to think about their interests, they would realize that strikes do not help them achieve their goals.
The point of engaging in a strike is for workers to put pressure on their employers to get an economic benefit from their actions. If the workers are on strike because they want more money, how can deliberately missing work help them reach their goals? If the workers’ claim is that they need more money, missing work, and thus losing out on pay, does not seem like it will accomplish the workers’ goal. Even if the workers manage to get a raise by striking, the raise would have to account for what the workers “need,” in addition to making up for the lost wages during the strike. It seems very unlikely that any strike will be effective enough to make up for lost wages during the strike. Accordingly, the strike will not serve the interest of the workers. If the strike is for some other sort of benefits, the gained benefits would still have to offset the lost wages to be rational, and once again the likelihood of the benefits accounting for the lost work, plus the benefits originally sought, seems highly unlikely.
Not only is it illogical to strike to get money or benefits, but strikes are also very risky for workers. Employers can temporarily replace workers during strikes. With a substitute workforce, the employer will not necessarily feel pressure from the strike. What replacements mean is that the workers on strike do not get paid, and the work still gets done, so the employer does not have incentive to give in to the striking workers’ demands. In addition, the employer can simply hire permanent replacements. Permanent replacements mean that after the strike, the striking workers are not entitled to get their old jobs back. Clearly, it is not in the interest of workers to strike for economic reasons, and end up losing their jobs because of it. The risk is too high to make strikes in the interest of the workers. Even if the employer negotiates with the workers because of the strike, the whole process is likely to foster resentment, which will not create a good working environment for anyone, further making strikes not in the interest of workers.
Another reason strikes are not in the interest of workers is that strikes are likely to breed contempt for the workers, as opposed to creating sympathy. Strikes do not affect just the workers and employer. Rather, others are harmed by strikes. For example, in 2005, when New York City transit workers went on strike, the masses of people who rely on public transportation in New York City were forced to walk, take taxis, or find other means of transport about the island. In addition, other workers who rely upon the products or services produced by the striking workers have their work affected. As the other workers who are not involved in the strike feel the effects of the strike, they are more likely to resent the striking workers than they are to put pressure on the strikers’ employer to end the strike. Being despised is typically not in anyone’s interest.
1. How would you word the issue and conclusion of this essay?
2. Is relevant information missing from the argument?
Clue: What would you like to know before deciding whether the author is correct?
3. Does the argument contain significant ambiguity?
Clue: What word or phrases could have multiple meanings, where changing the meaning either strengthens or weakens the argument?
4. Write an essay that someone who holds an opinion opposite to that of the essay author might write.
Clue: What other ethical norms could influence an opinion about this issue?