18 July 2002
Work Stoppages Low Compared With Past Levels
“Strikes are at low levels compared with the last decade,” Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
“The reality is that strikes are well down on what they used to be and even employer spokespeople have admitted that the ERA is a success,” he said.
“In particular, mediation is having a greater role in avoiding industrial disruption.”
Statistics New Zealand today released figures showing there were seven stoppages in the March quarter and 42 over the last year.
Ross Wilson said that this was still a low figure compared with the early 1990s. The number of stoppages in 1972 for example was 72.
"In fact, there has been a significant reduction in the number of working days lost through strike action over the past 23 years."
Days lost fell from 331,000 in 1990 to 53,000 by 1995. This trend began well before the Employment Contracts Act was introduced.
In 1977 there were 562 stoppages. In 1980 there were 360 stoppages, falling to 137 in 1990, and 42 in 2002.