General Question

occ's avatar

virtual crossing of a picket line?

Asked by occ (4054points) March 10th, 2008

Another union is planning to picket my place of employment on Thursday. I do not feel comfortable crossing a picket line, even if it is not my union that is striking. So I am not planning to come into my office on Thursday. The question is, can I work from home? Or is that some kind of “virtual” crossing of a picket line? Now that so much work is done remotely, via email and phone, the lines between office and “out of office” have been blurred, and I’m not sure what would be acceptable or a violation of solidarity.

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7 Answers

syz's avatar

I guess it depends on how important that “solidarity” is to you – if you don’t physically go into to work in order to appear to support the strike, then working from home would seem like cheating, in my opinion.

paulc's avatar

Just like syz said, you not working is your show of support. That’s the leverage workers have.

cwilbur's avatar

If you’re working, you’re crossing the picket line. The point of a strike is to not work, to emphasize to the employer how valuable the employees are. Working from home is missing the point.

breedmitch's avatar

I thought you worked for a non-profit. Who would picket a non-profit?

Mangus's avatar

Non-profits are just as capable of exploiting workers as a corporation, just as capable of not agreeing on appropriate working conditions, rates of pay and benefits. In terms of power relations in a wage system, there is no difference between the two.

Mangus's avatar

And I agree with the first three posters. Not crossing the picket line isn’t about the literal crossing, it’s about solidarity with striking workers.

trainerboy's avatar

Since the purpose of a strike is to hurt company production, and give the workers a bargaining chip, working at home would be the same as crossing the picket line.

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