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Poll: Being a freelancer, would you support (or have you supported) a general strike against austerity?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:24
SITE STAFF
Feb 21, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Being a freelancer, would you support (or have you supported) a general strike against austerity?".

This poll was originally submitted by María Perales. View the poll results »



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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 23:24
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Other N/A Feb 21, 2016

I have no idea. I've never even thought about it and it's never even happened in my life time in the UK and over here.

I always thought that if times were hard, we go out and find better paying customers or work harder, i.e. longer hours, to make up for slim pickings. Why would I support this? Please do tell how this would affect us all.


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:24
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Feb 21, 2016

I did in the past and I would, because austerity means less expenses form governments and, therefore, less translations from them. This also means less employments, less circulation of money, so less translations from companies. Translations, if any, go directly to non-qualified competitors, who work at lower rates.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
It depends Feb 21, 2016

On principle, I would support people working in companies or for large organisations who decide, by a majority, to go on strike against austerity. However, as a freelancer, I am my own boss, so refusing to work would be merely cutting off my nose to spite my face. My landlord needs the rent from me every month and he's just an ordinary bloke like me, not some moustachio-twirling evil Empire...

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:24
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other - probably not Feb 21, 2016

I think this is more of a European issue. We're not affected by this issue in the the U.S. Plus, taking up causes is not my style.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:24
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Probably not! Feb 21, 2016

By definition a strike is a “collective, organized, cessation or slowdown of work by employees, to force acceptance of their demands by the employer”. I believe that a strike should be the last step in a labor-management dispute over wages and working conditions and not some kind of protest against austerity. I must say though that over the years I have joined several street protests and demonstrations (for instance the “marche blanche” in Belgium in 1997) in support of causes I believe in.

P.S. My employer always treats me fair and reasonable as I am my own boss.


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Texte Style
Local time: 15:24
French to English
yes Feb 21, 2016

I would support it yes, but my support wouldn't be in the form of a strike. I would sign a petition, possibly go on a demo in my free time. I would help victims in any small way I can, like donating stuff I don't need.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:24
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Feb 21, 2016

Must admit, new word for me here.
Why would you want to "strike" it?
And seriuosly, if a government cuts expenses, etc. what are you going to do about it?
Crying wont help.

[Edited at 2016-02-21 21:04 GMT]


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Odile Stuart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:24
Member (2006)
English to French
+ ...
A freelancer's existence Feb 21, 2016

I often look on strikes as a spur of the moment thing, not the real thing.
I have seen too many people go on strike just to miss a day at uni, to be with friends, etc, thus not caring so much as joining the crowd. That is not how I see things.
I feel very much an outcast in my profession compared to people on trade unions or people who work for a pension. That is also the life I chose as an independent-minded person. I feel privileged to be my own boss and live a relatively-free life. My life is basic, I need the basic necessities in life, and I have the luxury of enjoying life when needed. After all, I live in a privileged country.
I would go on strike if it were a cause that deeply touched my heart, something life-threatening. I am still willing to join a strike on this principle.

[Edited at 2016-02-21 13:36 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-02-21 13:37 GMT]


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Eckhard Boehle  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:24
English to German
+ ...
Yes Feb 21, 2016

I think some here didn't understand this right - or is it me?
The question is "would you support a strike".
Of course, as a freelancer and being my own boss I would not go on strike myself.
But I would support a general strike - signing internet petitions, going on demonstrations etc.
As I can organize my working time freely I could go back to work afterwards.


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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:24
Member
German to English
+ ...
Not as a freelancer Feb 21, 2016

While I broadly accept the aims of an anti-austerity strike, what I actually do would make no difference or impact. A strike is a way to express your discontent or non-agreement with policy, whether proposed by a government or a company. It's a little cynical to suggest that people only join strikes for comradeship.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:24
English to Spanish
+ ...
Strikes Feb 21, 2016

Michael Harris wrote:

Must admit, new word for me here.
Why would you want to "strike" it?
And seriuosly, if a government cuts expenses, etc. what are you going to do about it?
Crying wont help.

[Edited at 2016-02-21 12:51 GMT]


How about crying and kicking and screaming?



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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:24
English to Spanish
+ ...
Strikes against stuff Feb 21, 2016

I've read about people protesting government austerity measures in Spain and Greece. It's all over the news.

I've seen similar strikes, called cacerolazos in Argentina and read about them.

I don't like protests of any kind. Being a bookish introvert, going out and joining protests, even the student protest rounds of my university days, is against my nature. As Teresa said, a strike is, by definition, a last-resort action taken up by employees to force their employer's hand in their favor or to bring him back to the negotiating table.

In addition, strikes strike me as too emotional, too rooted on primal reaction rather than reason. Definitely not for me.


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John Michalis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:24
Member (2016)
English to Greek
+ ...
is this a tea party gathering? Feb 21, 2016

even if the words solidarity, empathy, exploitation etc. mean nothing to most in here apparently, imagine the following: It is undeniable that austerity leads to unemployment. Unemployment means that anybody with a language certificate and no other means of employment can give freelance translating a try, what is there to lose? And then when we see agencies paying 0.02-3 $ per word lets all act suprised and wonder why do people accept such rates and ruin the profession for all.

By the way, those commenting that they live in privileged countries (US & UK), I'd recommend taking a better look on what's going in your front yard.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:24
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No strikes Feb 22, 2016

In my country, strikes are pretty much pre-scheduled once a year, always by the same categories. They always occur for political reasons and greed for profits, not for the workers. The workers are only impelled to participate under false arguments. The Brazilian people (above all the medium class and the educated) has learned to hate strikes and consider it something negative because of these distortions. So when you say "strike" here, it's like saying "would you approve robbery for any reason?" or something like that. It's very unfortunate, as strikes are a wonderful means for workers to claim their rights. But it will take many decades, if ever, for people to understand what a strike is and how it works, to begin with, around here.

So, as a good Brazilian citizen, I'm against stikes and I do not support them whatsoever (at least until they are done properly and in an organized manner, which hasn't happened here since I was born).


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Poll: Being a freelancer, would you support (or have you supported) a general strike against austerity?

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