Northern Ireland workers love to skive


Workers in the North like to skive off work more than anywhere else in Britain according to a survey from business advisors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). A whopping 65% of employees admitted to skiving off work for at least a day in the past year, with a third taking between two and five days. This compares with 51% in Scotland and 62% in Wales.  Illness remains the most common excuse to pull a sickie while others display fake symptoms around the office with the hope of getting a day off such as sniffing at work, pretending to lose their voice. We also gladly top the table for inclining to skive if we see our workmates doing the same.

Despite the usual spill from our bosses about this being of great cost to the economy blah blah… this is a proud achievement and highlights that as workers we have nothing in common with our employers. There are also other results which further put to bed any notions that we are all in this together and indicate a degree of confidence and self-organisation. For example, some 15% of those people pulling sickies said they’d been working hard and deserved the time.  Furthermore 34% of respondents said that skived because they were bored and depressed at work.

In a time where we are expected to work more for poverty wages to enrich the fat cats, such informal resistance such as sickies, go-slows and theft is an immediate response to a collective problem we all face as workers and unemployed- which is capitalism. It may in the short-term alleviate the drudgery and boredom of capitalism and take back what little control we have over our everyday lives, but we are an even greater force if we act together in collective solidarity and direct action. 

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Spanish Revolution when workers did what is constantly drilled into us as impossible from cradle to grave and kicked out the bosses and collectivised their workplaces. It maybe a long time ago but provides us of a glimpse of what is possible if we seize the moment and act together in solidarity and reclaim our lives from the politicians and bosses.