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Official Strike


An official strike is a work stoppage organized and endorsed by a labor union, typically to protest against working conditions, wages, or other employment-related issues. This type of strike is considered legal and follows the rules and guidelines set by relevant labor laws and regulations. An official strike often has the support of the majority of the union members and serves as an important strategy for negotiating with employers to achieve the desired changes.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Official Strike” is: əˈfɪʃəl straɪk (using the International Phonetic Alphabet)oʊˈfɪʃəl ˈstraɪk (using the American English Phonetics)Here’s the breakdown:- “Official”: əˈfɪʃəl (IPA) or oʊˈfɪʃəl (American English) – The stress is on the second syllable.- “Strike”: straɪk (both IPA and American English) – It is a single syllable word.

Key Takeaways

  1. Official Strikes are organized by labor unions and employees to address issues like unfair working conditions, poor wages, or to demand better rights and benefits for workers.
  2. During an Official Strike, employees typically stop working and participate in demonstrations, picketing or protests in order to draw attention to their cause and attempt to negotiate with employers.
  3. An Official Strike is different from an unofficial strike, as it is usually sanctioned by the labor union and follows legal guidelines, whereas an unofficial strike lacks union approval and may not adhere to legal requirements.


The term “Official Strike” is important in the fields of business and finance because it denotes a legitimate, organized, and planned cessation of work by a group of employees, typically in a union, as a form of protest against their employer. The main motivation behind an official strike is usually to advocate for improved working conditions, increased wages, job security, or other employment-related benefits. Official strikes play a critical role in maintaining a balance of power between employers and the workforce. They encourage negotiations and meaningful dialogue between both parties, ultimately leading to better working environments and increased productivity. Additionally, the term also serves to differentiate legitimate strikes from unofficial or wildcat strikes, which are often deemed illegal or less acceptable due to a lack of proper organization or endorsement from the employees’ union.


Official strikes play a significant role in the dynamics of employee-employer relationships, particularly in the context of labor unions and collective bargaining agreements. The primary purpose of an official strike is to give employees the ability to voice their concerns and exert pressure on their employers to address certain issues such as low wages, poor working conditions, or unreasonable company policies. Through an organized and collective work stoppage, employees can effectively disrupt the normal functioning of the business, forcing employers to engage in negotiating better employment terms and working conditions. It is important to note that for a strike to be considered official, it should have the backing of a recognized trade union, thus providing legal protection to striking workers.

Although the process of conducting an official strike may seem adversarial, these actions serve as an indispensable tool for maintaining the balance of power between workers and companies. In essence, strikes give employees a means of protecting their rights and ensuring that their well-being and interests are taken into consideration by their employers. In the long run, successful strike actions have the potential to contribute to healthier work environments, increased job satisfaction, and better relationships between labor and management.

Furthermore, official strikes not only send a message to the concerned employer but also highlight industry-wide issues which could lead to broader reforms and improve standards across a particular sector.


1. French public sector strike (2019): One of the most notable official strikes took place in France in December 2019 when public sector employees, including railway workers, doctors, teachers, and airport staff, protested against the government’s proposed pension reforms. Trade unions organized the strike, which involved millions of people and lasted for several weeks, causing significant disruptions in transportation and public services.

2. U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strike (1981): In August 1981, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) called for an official strike, demanding better wages, shorter work hours, and improved working conditions. Despite being illegal for federal employees, nearly 13,000 air traffic controllers participated in the strike. As a result, the U.S. President, Ronald Reagan, fired over 11,000 striking workers, and the FAA had to face the difficult task of rebuilding its workforce from scratch.

3. United Kingdom’s Royal Mail postal strike (2009): The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represented postal workers in the UK, organized a nationwide official strike in 2009. The strike action was taken due to concerns about job security, pay, and working conditions. It lasted for several weeks, causing significant disruptions to the country’s mail delivery services and costing Royal Mail millions of pounds in lost revenue.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is an Official Strike?

An Official Strike is a temporary work stoppage initiated by a trade union or group of workers and sanctioned by the union in response to a disagreement, often relating to working conditions, wages, benefits, or other aspects of employment.

How is an Official Strike different from an unofficial strike?

An Official Strike is organized, approved, and supported by a trade union, while an unofficial strike is initiated by workers without the consent or support of the union. Unofficial strikes are considered to be unprotected and can lead to legal consequences for workers and unions.

What are the objectives of an Official Strike?

The primary objectives of an Official Strike include:1. Addressing concerns related to working conditions, wages, and benefits.2. Encouraging dialogue and negotiation between employers and employees.3. Demonstrating worker unity and strength to the management.4. Exerting pressure on employers to accept employees’ demands.

Are there any legal requirements for an Official Strike?

Yes, in most jurisdictions, there are specific legal requirements for an Official Strike. These may include:1. A ballot process to collect the majority approval.2. Providing sufficient notice and relevant information to the employer.3. Ceasing work only after the notice period expires.

How long does an Official Strike typically last?

The duration of an Official Strike varies depending on the specific situation and the progress of negotiations. It can last from a few hours to several weeks or even months.

Can an employee be fired for participating in an Official Strike?

Generally, employees cannot be fired simply for participating in an Official Strike. However, they may be subjected to disciplinary action or termination if they engage in unacceptable or illegal actions during the strike.

Can employers hire replacements during an Official Strike?

This depends on the jurisdiction and whether the strike is protected or not. In some cases, employers may hire temporary workers to maintain operations during the strike, while in others, it may be prohibited.

How do Official Strikes typically come to an end?

Official Strikes usually conclude when both parties reach an agreement or negotiate a compromise. This may involve concessions on wages, working conditions, or benefits. In some cases, a third-party mediator or arbitration panel may be called upon to help facilitate the negotiation and resolution process.

Related Finance Terms

  • Collective Bargaining Agreements
  • Labor Unions
  • Strikes and Picketing
  • Industrial Action
  • Management-Labor Negotiations

Sources for More Information

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