Would you believe me if I tell you the first labor strike in history happened so long ago nobody knew until they translated the Rosetta Stone?
That’s right, the first known labor strike in history happened in ancient Egypt.
The ancient Egyptian industry relied heavily on slave labor, but slaves were not the workforce’s largest population.
The craftsmen of all variety were the main people, which is obvious in the quality of their workmanship.
As artistic as slaves could be, they could never be relied on for the fine quality seen in many ancient Egyptian relics.
In 1152 B.C., during the reign of King Ramses III, a group of craftsmen got fed up. They were working on a new necropolis at Dier El Medina and felt like they were being underpaid.
So they staged a mass walkout.
You might think that the mighty Pharaoh would whip the workers into submission, but that’s not what happened.
The walkout forced the Pharaoh’s men to talk, and they ended up working out a deal.
In the end, the workers got the money they felt owed to them and a raise. Better, they all exquisitely finished the construction.
And guess what? That necropolis is still standing today.
The workers could have used violence to get what they wanted, and they didn’t. So could the Pharaoh’s men, but they didn’t.
The two sides came together to air grievances and make amends. By working together, both sides got what they wanted.
The workers got their worth, and the Pharaoh got a beautiful temple crafted by people who cared about their work.
If peaceful discourse can work for the ancients, it can work for us today.
If you have a beef with someone, it is best to let them know and listen to their side of the story. Who knows, a solution that will please both of you is only a conversation away, just like ancient Egypt did.