Human Resource Management

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Labour disputes at record low in 2003

June 11 2004 - The June edition of Labour Market Trends reports that work stoppages in the UK fell to just 133 in 2003 - the lowest ever recorded. This follows a downward trend from 146 in 2002 and 194 in 2001.

499,100 working days were lost in 2003, compared to 1.323 million in 2002 and 525,100 in 2001. The comparison is even more striking (couldn't resist that one) with previous decades:

Average number of working days lost per year

1990s - 660,000
1980s - 7.2 million
1970s - 12.9 million)

Number of workers involved in labour disputes

2003 - 150,600
2002 - 942,900
1990s (average) - 201,600
1980s (average) - 1.04 million

The report shows that the regions with the highest number of working days lost per thousand employee jobs in 2003 were Northern Ireland (101), London (51) and Scotland (39). By contrast, regions with the lowest were the North East (2), the East of England (4) and both the East Midlands and the South East (6). On average, the UK figure was 19 days.

The public sector accounted for over half the working days lost with public administration (28%) and education (26%). Transport, storage and communication accounted for a further 25%.

Estimated figures for the first 3 months of 2004 are:

* Number of working days lost - 372,000
* Number of stoppages - 40 stoppages
* Number of workers involved - 135,000

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