What Have Strikes Achieved?

Withdrawing labour is an age-old response to workplace grievances. But how old, and to what effect?

Vicente Cutanda - Una huelga de obreros en Vizcaya
‘Una huelga de obreros en Vizcaya (A strike of workers in Biscay)’, Vicente Cutanda, 1892. Museo del Prado/Wiki Commons.

‘In Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, the women of Greece unite together in a sex-strike’

Lynette Mitchell, Professor in Greek History and Politics at the University of Exeter

‘Strike action’ – the withdrawal of labour as a protest – was known in the ancient world. The Greeks, however, did not generally form themselves into professional guilds, at least not before the third century BC when the associations of ‘the musicians of Dionysus’ were formed alongside the growth in the number of festivals.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email digital@historytoday.com if you have any problems.