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Work Stoppages: June 2008 quarter
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  22 October 2008
Commentary

Overview

After annual levels of over 400 in the late 1970s, the number of work stoppages has stabilised to levels of under 100 since 1990. In the past 10 years the number of work stoppages has exceeded 40 in only two years – 2002 and 2006.

Thirty work stoppages ended in the June 2008 year, compared with 35 stoppages ending in the June 2007 year.

Annual comparison

The 30 work stoppages that ended in the year to June 2008 consisted of 23 complete strikes, five partial strikes and two lockouts. They involved 7,200 employees, and losses of 17,929 person-days of work and an estimated $3.9 million in wages and salaries.

In comparison, the 35 stoppages that ended in the June 2007 year involved 6,474 employees, and losses of 21,015 person-days of work and an estimated $3.5 million in wages and salaries.

Annual Work Stoppages
June year Number of stoppages Number of employees involved Person-days of work lost Estimated loss in wages and salaries $(million)
2006 60 16,628 27,536 5.3
2007 35 6,474 21,015 3.5
2008 30 7,200 17,929 3.9

Average losses in person-days of work per employee involved decreased from the June 2007 year, however average losses in wages and salaries per employee increased over the same period. In the June 2008 year, an average of 2.5 person-days of work and $545 in wages and salaries were lost per employee. This compares with 3.2 person-days of work, and $535 in wages and salaries lost per employee in the June 2007 year.

Average Annual Loss per Employee Involved
June year Person-days of work lost per employee Loss in wages and salaries per employee ($)
2006 1.6 320
2007 3.2 535
2008 2.5 545

Industry distribution of stoppages

The manufacturing industry had the highest number of stoppages in the June 2008 year, with six stoppages (20 percent of all stoppages). The health and community services industry had the highest number of employees involved (contributing 36 percent of the total).

 Graph, Number of Employees Involved. Graph, Estimated Loss in Wages and Salaries.

 

Industry Distribution of Work Stoppages
Industry group Year ending June 2008
Manufacturing 6
Transport and Storage 5
Health and community services 4
All other industries combined 15
Total 30

Note: The 'All other industries combined' group includes the following industries: mining; wholesale trade; accommodation, cafes and restaurants; property and business services; government administration and defence; education; and personal and other services.

Sector distribution of stoppages

Eleven public sector stoppages ended in the June 2008 year, down from the June 2007 year when there were 14 public sector stoppages. Nineteen private sector stoppages ended in the June 2008 year, down from 21 for the June 2007 year.

Public sector stoppages that ended in the June 2008 year involved 4,566 employees, and losses of 10,681 person-days of work and an estimated $2.9 million in wages and salaries. Private sector stoppages involved 2,634 employees, and losses of 7,248 person-days of work and an estimated $1.0 million in wages and salaries.

Resolution of stoppages

The underlying dispute was resolved in 16 of the 30 stoppages that ended in the June 2008 year. Eight of these were resolved through negotiation between the employer and employee or their representatives. Five stoppages were resolved through mediation services provided by the Department of Labour.

Fourteen work stoppages that ended in the June 2008 year did not have the underlying dispute resolved.

Quarterly comparison

Nine work stoppages ended in the June 2008 quarter, up from the three stoppages ending in the March 2008 quarter. The number of employees, losses of person-days of work and losses in wages and salaries are all up from the March 2008 quarter.

Of the nine work stoppages recorded in the June 2008 quarter, there were six complete strikes and three partial strikes. The stoppages involved 3,890 employees, and resulted in losses of 7,412 person-days of work and an estimated $2,181,000 in wages and salaries. The March 2008 quarter had three work stoppages involving 118 employees, and losses of 178 person-days of work and an estimated $24,000 in wages and salaries.  

Graph, Number of Employees Involved.  Graph, Estimated Loss in Wages and Salaries.

Ongoing stoppages

There were no ongoing work stoppages as at 30 June 2008.

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

Next release ...

Work Stoppages: September 2008 quarter will be released on 22 January 2009

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