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Figures Reveal Extent of Strike Action in 2015

Recent figures published by the Office for National Statistics have given an interesting insight into the level of strike action across the UK during 2015.

According to the figures, the transport and storage sector had the most days lost to labour disputes of any sector, at 60,200, and also the highest rate of days lost, at 47 per 1,000 employees. This was a change from 2014, when public administration and defence accounted for much the highest rate of working days lost.

“Days lost to strikes last year – at 170,000 – were well down on 2014, when 788,000 days were lost to disputes,” commented ONS labour market statistician Nick Palmer. “Indeed, the 2015 total was the second lowest since records began, with only 2005 lower, at 157,000 days lost.”

“The main reason that 2014 had a higher figure than last year was that it saw a number of large scale public sector strikes that were not repeated in 2015,” he added. “In all 81,000 workers went on strike in 2015, the lowest figure since records began in 1893.”

Disputes over pay were apparently responsible for the greatest number of days lost in 2015: 121,000, or 71% of the total. Disputes over redundancy accounted for another 20% of the total, with disputes over all other causes making up the remainder.

Most disputes were of short duration; 60% of disputes lasted for no more than three days, with 30% being just one day. However, the percentage of disputes lasting for more than one day was noticeably higher than in recent years; 70% in 2015, compared with 54% in 2014 and just 37% in 2013. Most disputes were relatively small, with 74% of all disputes resulting in the loss of fewer than 1,000 days, but the 28 disputes that were bigger than this accounted for 91% of all days lost.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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