Statistics on work stoppages

Grievances and conflicts are an inevitable part of the employment relationship. The objective of public policy is to manage conflict and promote sound labour relations by creating a system for the effective prevention and settlement of labour disputes. 

Work stoppages can be strikes or lockouts. A strike is a temporary work stoppage carried out by one or more groups of workers to enforce or resist demands or express grievances, or support other workers in their demands or grievances, while a lockout is the total or partial temporary closure of one or more places of employment, or the hindering of the normal work activities of employees, by one or more employers to enforce or resist demands or express grievances, or support other employers in their demands or grievances.

The number, frequency, duration and scope of strikes and lockouts all have a great impact on the labour market, the economy and workers’ well-being. Thus, it is important to have reliable and timely statistics to assess the social and economic effect of work stoppages, as well as to understand trends, identify challenges in dispute resolution and design appropriate campaigns and policies.

Table of Contents

Featured publication

This guidebook is intended to support ILO’s tripartite constituents in the collection of data on industrial relations, including on trade union membership, on the coverage of collective bargaining agreements and on strikes and lockouts.

Data

Methods

Decent Work Indicators: Concepts and definitions

Decent Work Indicators - Guidelines for producers and users of statistical and legal framework indicators

Decent work is central to sustainable poverty reduction and is a means for achieving equitable, inclusive and sustainable development. The ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization recommends the establishment of appropriate indicators to monitor the progress made in the implementation of the ILO Decent Work Agenda. The ILO is supporting member States through technical assistance and capacity building at national, sub-regional and regional levels in this regard.


Decent work statistical indicators: strikes and lockouts statistics in the international context

Decent work statistical indicators: strikes and lockouts statistics in the international context

Based on the analysis of the three major international programmes which aim at the regular publication of international labour disputes statistics, the author argues that currently the measure which best reconciles the number of days lost due to industrial action with the varying sizes of countries’ employed population and provides a reasonable basis for international comparisons is the rate of days not worked due to strikes and lockouts (per 1.000 employees).


Guidebook on how and why to collect and use data on industrial relations

Guidebook on How and why to collect and use data on industrial relations

This guidebook is intended to support ILO’s tripartite constituents in the collection of data on industrial relations, including on trade union membership, on the coverage of collective bargaining agreements and on strikes and lockouts.


Resolution concerning statistics of strikes, lockouts and other action due to labour disputes

Resolution concerning statistics of strikes, lockouts and other action due to labour disputes

Adopted by the 15th ICLS (1993), this resolution provides guidelines to assist and improve the production of national statistics on action due to labour disputes and to enhance comparability of such statistics between countries.


Resolution concerning the methodology of the SDG indicator 8.8.2 on labour rights

Resolution concerning the methodology of the SDG Indicator 8.8.2 on labour rights

Adopted by the 20th ICLS (2018), this resolution sets an internationally agreed methodology to measure indicator SDG 8.8.2 on labour rights consistent with the Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (A/RES/71/313), Annex taken on 6 July 2017.


Sources and Methods Volume 7: Strikes and lockouts (1999)

This volume contains the descriptions of national statistics on strikes and lockouts.


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