Wikinews:Water cooler/policy/archives/2016/February

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Categories: Strikes vs Industrial action

I notice Category:Strikes has been created for Detroit teachers stage sickout to protest working conditions as Obama visits. There's a few other articles which would qualify, thus meeting the criteria usually applied before creating a category. Easily found articles are:

Firstly, they should all go into Category:Labor, and Strikes would qualify as a sub-category thereof. However, not all Industrial action need be strikes — for example, French fishermen blockade Channel ports.

Apart from my natural revulsion (as a British English speaker) at the term Labor, what's going to be more-consistent with the category scheme? --Brian McNeil / talk 22:51, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

Naming I created the category and would be happy with whatever consensus there is with the name. I would also like to populate it with relevant articles (and have linked it from sister projects like Wikipedia). The problem of course is that our articles get locked and I'm not an admin, so I can't refactor or add categories. —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:53, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
A more general name would be desirable, of course. "Industrial action" does seem to be in use as the more general term, which I think unfortunate, as personally I've always thought it sounds limited in setting: the word "industrial" makes me thing of workers in Dickensian mills, which for example would not encompass the current article. In the past I've always preferred to let the general Category:Labor serve the purpose. --Pi zero (talk) 23:39, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
@Pi zero: I think that a category on strikes may be informative: labor in general can refer to stories about negotiations, disputes, changes in law about workman's comp, dissolving of unions, etc. Again, if the community is opposed to the existence of this category, I don't want to beat a dead horse but I think it's useful. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:25, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
I agree it can be a useful subcat of Category:Labor; I'm just not sure what to call it. "Strikes" is too narrow. Wiktionary captures the difficulty, I think, by noting at wikt:industrial action that the term is chiefly British, whereas wikt:job action is chiefly US and Canada (and connotes something just slightly different). --Pi zero (talk) 02:49, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
I've never heard, or seen in print, the term "Job action"; that's including the numerous US-based sources I've been known to read. Obviously I'm used to "Industrial action" from growing up in the UK, but I've also seen the term used in a good many other countries. It looks as-if the former term is restricted to North America, and the latter for just about everywhere else.
I do agree Labor is a fairly broad category, and there is scope for sub-categorisation. Strikes is a widely used term, but excludes overtime bans, work-to-rule, etc. It also forms part of other terms such as Hunger strike, and we've a category for that.
Interestingly, if we do go with Strikes, The Other Place uses Category:Strikes (protest); but, again, there's a bit of room for confusion with the likes of hunger strikes. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:15, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
I guess I'm okay with industrial actions. Now that you mention it, I've not encountered "job action" all to go that often; it's one of those terms I recognize but couldn't say when I last saw/heard used. Btw, come to think, we actually do already have a Category:hunger strikes. --Pi zero (talk) 13:12, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
Addendum: we also have a Category:Protests. --Pi zero (talk) 13:15, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
Meh. Industrial action, imo, is bringing in scabs. Industry vs. labor, not labor as industry. Just my pov. - Amgine | t 23:01, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
Good point; there's a polarity problem there. --Pi zero (talk) 23:16, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
What would folks think of "labor action"? --Pi zero (talk) 17:06, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
  • I'd rather have Strikes. Amgine's characterisation of the use of "scabs" then falls under strike-breaking. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:36, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
    Double meh. Strike breaking and Strike are both emotionally laden terms. Yes, "Industry action" and "Labor action" are euphemisms, but so is "Strike" because there is rarely a tool, weapon, or fist involved - quite the opposite in most cases. - Amgine | t 19:56, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Consensus I don't see a strong consensus against Category:Strikes, so I've re-added it simply so it's not empty. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:18, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Avoiding -phobias

It's been pointed out lately (in a NYT magazine column, happens) that terms using suffix -phobia are used as tools to promote political agendas, seeking to imitate the success of term homophobia which seems to have been crafted with intent to shame and belittle opponents of gay rights. Although in the past I've a few times allowed the term homophobia through into a published article, now we've got a whole category called "Islamophobia" and I'm realizing this is a mistake. The term "Islamophobia" is used as an ideological weapon, making it inherently non-neutral, like "terrorism" which we systematically avoid using in our own voice. The AP stylebook, so I understand, has banned use of -phobia terms in a political context since November 2012, and methinks we should do likewise. I've been trying to think of terms we avoid when speaking in our own voice, wondering if we should have an essay on the subject somewhere. I have a feeling I'm forgetting at least one.

  • terrorism/terrorist
  • America, treated as the name of a country rather than a supercontinent
  • -phobia, to describe an attitude (proposed here)

--Pi zero (talk) 17:37, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Descriptivism vs. pre- or pro-scriptivism. Your example of terrorism is particularly apt, as its initial use was in England to describe the happenings in France. AP has agitated for a long time against the use of "-phobia" in political or social settings, restricting its use to health topics. I believe there was an attempt to describe homophobia in DSM-IV, but it did not survive the harsh light of researchers and is not present in DSM-5. It is not currently in my style guide. (I specifically avoided treating America because I have very very strong opinions about Bejamin Franklin's creation.) - Amgine | t 19:50, 3 February 2016 (UTC)