As of today, public sector workers across Denmark are on strike, demanding unprecedented pay raises for healthcare workers, among others. While any individual may of course request a raise, I have absolutely no sympathy for the method employed here – nor the demands. For several reasons:
Refusing to do your job is hardly a way of gaining sympathy. Especially in vital services such as health care, but also in general. You want more money? Get another job that pays more. You just want to do your job better? Then stop whining and pull up your sleeves. You want a new job? Then go get one.
Preventing others by force from doing their jobs has no place in a free, democratic society. However, strikes like this call for everyone to stay home from work, even those who might actually be satisfied with current conditions. This is repulsive and almost mafia-like.
A raise for these income groups is not validated by their level of education and comparison to other groups in society. Hiking their pay checks as proposed would tip the balance and do harm to the overall health of the nation’s economy. It seems that for Union and left-wing types, the prevailing sentiment is one of “we want more”, as if the State had a big gold pot for hand-outs to the self-imposed needy. In fact, the money they are demanding comes from of the rest of us. Why do you want my money?
Much can be said about the state of health care, etc. in Denmark, but just pouring more money into the workers’ pockets won’t solve any problems. More workers may be needed, yes. But even more so, greater efficiency and professionalism in the sector could boost quality of service, without necessarily breaking the budget. The easiest solution to this is outsourcing; if we let private providers handle many of these tasks, they could do it more efficiently for the same funds. And perhaps even with better working conditions and higher pay for those employees who meet the qualifications.
There are many good things about Denmark; the culture of strikes is not one of them. This method reeks of 19th century Marxism and should have been long dead and buried.