Industrial strife eases with huge drop in strikes
Published 26/08/2010 | 05:00
The number of workers on strike has dropped by 98pc since last year.
New figures reveal the country is no longer in the grip of industrial strife.
The number of workers on strike in the second quarter of this year is less than 2pc of comparable figures for the same period last year.
The number of disputes leading to work stoppages has dropped dramatically since last year -- which saw more days lost due to industrial action than any year since 1985.
There were three disputes under way between April and June of this year, involving 24 workers, who were out of work for 1,324 days, according to the Central Statistics Office.
This compared with six disputes, 1,496 workers and more than double the number of days lost -- 3,289 -- in the same three-month period last year.
The three disputes this year were private sector rows -- at Pickering Lifts, Connolly Shoes and Secureway, Dublin Port.
At the same time last year, six disputes were under way across the public and private sectors, at Dublin Bus, Tesco in Cork, Sligo General Hospital, Mr Binman, Galway County Council and Edgeworthstown Nursing Home.
However, one of the major clashes of this year -- between management at the Passport Office and civil servants -- failed to register in the statistics.
This is because the industrial action was a work-to-rule -- over pay cuts imposed in the Budget -- that did not lead to days being lost.
Although members of the Civil, Public and Services Union closed public offices during half-day stoppages, they continued to work in the closed offices.
Last year saw the biggest increase in days lost due to industrial action since the mid-1980s, as well as a record increase in unemployment.
The number of days lost, 329,593, was higher than any other year since 1985, when 417,726 days were lost.
This increase was mainly due to a national day of action organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions over government cutbacks, which led to 237,268 days being lost.