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Work Stoppage Numbers Low

18 July 2002

Work Stoppage Numbers Low

Latest work stoppage figures released by Statistics New Zealand record a continuing low level of industrial action, Labour Minister Margaret Wilson said today.

“There were seven work stoppages in the first three months of this year which pretty much continues the pattern seen since the Employment Relations Act came into force in 2000,” she said.

“The number of stoppages under the ERA has been relatively low, ranging from between five to nine per quarter. There was the one exception, the September 2001 quarter, when 19 stoppages took place. But these kinds of peaks and troughs are to be expected, and what is important is we have not seen an increased number of stoppages overall.”

The March 2002 quarter recorded a significant reduction in the number of person-days of work lost and losses in wages and salaries, Margaret Wilson said.

“In the previous two quarters there were more than 23,000 person-days of work lost per quarter and losses in wages and salaries of over $3 million per quarter. These figures have returned to relatively lower levels of 4,505 and $798,000 respectively.

“The number of employees involved has also reduced to 4,258 from almost 15,000 in the December 2001 quarter.”

Margaret Wilson said the low work stoppage figure reflects the proactive approach taken by the Department of Labour’s Mediation Service.

“Mediation is one of the mechanisms provided for under the ERA and is proving effective in helping parties to resolve disputes without resorting to industrial action.”

Ends

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