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Work Stoppages: December 2010 quarter
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  21 April 2011
Commentary

Work Stoppages: December 2010 quarter is the last quarterly release of work stoppages data by Statistics New Zealand. The next release will contain annual data, on a December year basis, and is due to be published in April 2012.

The information release for the September 2010 quarter was cancelled due to difficulties obtaining final data in time to release on the original timetable. As a result, information for the September 2010 quarter is covered in this release.

Quarterly comparisons

Six work stoppages ended in the December 2010 quarter, compared with four stoppages ending in the September 2010 quarter.

The six stoppages recorded in the December 2010 quarter consisted of four complete strikes and two partial strikes. The stoppages involved 709 employees, and resulted in losses of 1,135 person-days of work and an estimated $243,000 in wages and salaries.

In comparison, the four stoppages recorded in the September 2010 quarter consisted of three complete strikes and one partial strike. The stoppages involved 182 employees, and resulted in losses of 585 person-days of work and an estimated $76,000 in wages and salaries.

Annual comparisons

Seventeen stoppages ended in the December 2010 year, a decrease of 14 stoppages compared with the December 2009 year (31 stoppages). This is the lowest number of stoppages recorded for any December year in the current time series, which started in 1986.

The 17 work stoppages that ended in the December 2010 year consisted of 11 complete strikes, five partial strikes, and one lockout. These stoppages involved 6,394 employees, a loss of 6,285 person-days, and an estimated $1.1 million loss in wages and salaries.

In comparison, the 31 stoppages that ended in the December 2009 year comprised 25 complete strikes, five partial strikes, and one lockout. These stoppages involved 8,951 employees, with losses of 14,088 person-days of work and an estimated $2.4 million in wages and salaries.

Annual work stoppages
December year Number of stoppages Number of employees involved Person-days of work lost Estimated loss in wages and salaries $(million)
2004 34 6,127 6,162 1.0
2005 60 17,752 30,028 4.8
2006 42 10,079 27,983 5.2
2007 31 4,090 11,439 1.9
2008 23 C C C
2009 31 8,951 14,088 2.4
2010 17 6,394 6,285 1.1
Symbols:
C confidential

The average losses in person-days of work per employee and average losses in wages and salaries per employee both decreased from the December 2009 year. These are the lowest since the December 2004 year.

Average annual loss per employee involved
December year Person-days of work lost per employee Loss in wages and salaries per employee ($)
2004 1.0 167
2005 1.7 271
2006 2.8 517
2007 2.8 466
2008 C C
2009 1.6 266
2010 1.0 175
Symbol:
C confidential

Industry distribution of stoppages

The two industries with the highest number of stoppages in the December 2010 year were manufacturing, and health care and social assistance, with four stoppages each. The health care and social assistance industry had the largest number of employees involved (3,931) while the public administration and safety industry had the highest estimated loss in wages and salaries ($0.8 million).

Industry distribution of work stoppages
Year ended December 2010
Industry group(1) Number of stoppages
Manufacturing 4
Public administration and safety 3
Health care and social assistance 4
All other industries combined(2) 6
Total 17
1. Australian and New Zealand Standard for Industrial Classification, 2006 (ANZSIC06).
2. The 'All other industries combined' group includes: electricity, gas, water and waste services; construction; retail trade and accommodation; transport, postal and warehousing; professional, scientific, technical, administrative and support services; which had less than three stoppages each.
Graph, Number of employees involved. Graph, Estimated loss in wages and salaries.

Sector distribution of stoppages

Eleven private sector stoppages ended in the December 2010 year, down from 17 in the December 2009 year. Six public sector stoppages ended in the December 2010 year, down from 14 in the December 2009 year.

Private sector stoppages ended in the December 2010 year involved 4,053 employees, and losses of 909 person-days of work and an estimated $0.1 million in wages and salaries.

Public sector stoppages involved 2,341 employees, and losses of 5,376 person-days of work and an estimated $1.0 million in wages and salaries for the same period.

Resolution of stoppages

The underlying dispute was resolved in 14 of the 17 stoppages that ended in the December 2010 year. This is the highest proportion of resolved stoppages (82 percent) since the December 2003 year, and compares with an average of 43 percent for the previous six years. Of the 14 resolved stoppages, nine of them were resolved through negotiation between the employer and employee or their representatives, four stoppages were resolved through mediation services provided by the Department of Labour, and one was resolved through mediation by a private provider.

Three of the work stoppages that ended in the December 2010 year did not have the underlying dispute resolved.

Revision

The June 2010 quarter data has been revised after receiving additional information.

Revision of June 2010 data
June 2010 quarter June 2010 year
Main indicator Published Revised Published Revised
Number of stoppages 5 6 29 30

Ongoing stoppages

One work stoppage was ongoing as at 31 December 2010.

 

For technical information please contact:
Becky Chen
Wellington 04 931 4600
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

Next release ...

Work Stoppages: December 2011 year is due to be released in April 2012.

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