The Lasting Influence of Strikes

Whether it is la grève, la huelga, or lo sciopero, the strike is a universal language of protest. While Europeans definitely utilize this working-class weapon much more than Americans and Africans, it is still a wieldy weapon. In the 4 months that I spent living in Europe,  I encountered 5 different strikes in 3 different countries. Two of the strikes were in my home base, Spain, and the other two were in Italy and France.

Reading about the Senegalese strike and the influence it had on the country this week was very interesting for me. It struck me that the strike had such a dramatic influence on policy, the ruling party, and the people itself. The length of the strike, as well as the fervor behind it, seems much more effective than the strikes experienced today. I wonder about the lasting influence of strikes even in the modern world and whether the effectiveness of strikes still remain today. The strike that was initiated by the Senegalese was powerful and sent a strong message. Its challenge to authority from a consolidated force created tangible changes, even though there was still a long way to go for its people to be free.


My question is this. With the Senegalese train strike in mind, how has the strike changed just in the last few decades? What made that particular strike reverberate throughout history and important enough to even have a novel dedicated to it?