Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Strike Reviews

While the American Writers Strike continues to grab headlines, many lesser-known instances of industrial action are going unnoticed by the press. Here’s a round-up of all the strikes around the world today.

The French Strike

Everyone in France is currently on strike, and the country is literally at a standstill. It is believed that the last person to leave their place of employment in disgust was a chicken farmer in Rouen last Thursday. Details of how the strike was started are sketchy, but it is rumoured to have been spurred by an argument over cigarette smoke in a Parisian café last August. The strike escalated from there, encompassing the entire population of the country. This strike is proving to be particularly ineffective, as there are no people to listen to anyone else’s demands, due to everyone’s superiors being on strike. But still, the strikers are being very resilient, and even the UN has been unable to help, as there is nobody in France to let them in.

You’ve got to admire the tenacity of the French, hanging in there and refusing to give up, despite the fact that food will soon run out, and with nobody removing rubbish, piles of waste are building up everywhere. But really, they’re shooting themselves in the foot with their stubbornness, and I can’t imagine any of the parties winning this war. Strike rating on a scale of 1 (useless) to 10 (highly effective): 2

Spam Emailers of America Hunger Strike

The last time anyone clicked on an unsolicited email ad for herbal Viagra or penis extensions was in 2004, when a drunk businessman accidentally fell on a computer in a Tokyo Internet café. Since then, Spam Emailers have complained about their unfair treatment at the hands of Internet Service Providers and online Email Programs, claiming that the world is missing out on great investment opportunities and hot teen-on-teen action. Their cries have gone unheeded, and now two thousand Spam Email writers have chained themselves to the gates of the Norton Antivirus software offices, refusing food.

Normally a hunger strike is a great method of bringing attention to your cause, but when you’re as universally despised as spammers, it’s not going to end well for you. I can’t see what the strikers were hoping to achieve, really. There have been rumours that some of the strikers have been trying to unchain themselves and find food, but passers-by have prevented them by standing on their necks. Strike rating: 3

The Union of British Butlers Strike

The UBB have been striking for a week now, bringing most of southern England to a standstill. The strike was instigated by the union in protest at the treatment of Mister Jeeves, a Union member who was the inspiration for the formerly-popular search engine, AskJeeves. Mr. Jeeves still hasn’t received payment from the website for either likeness or naming rights, and so the lauded gentry of the nation have had to go without ironed newspapers, freshly squeezed paupers and warm gutted foxes.

The UBB strike has been very successful up to now, with other organizations such as the Association of Saucy Chambermaids and the Fearsome Nannies Union joining in sympathy. The strike also has the support of the upper class of England, who are petitioning AskJeeves to pay their butler icon so that they can have their groomsboys beaten again for laziness. There are few groups whose non-work would have more effect on British life; only the barmen and Indian tea pickers spring to mind. Strike rating: 8

No comments: