Laura Sharman 02 August 2016

Number of staff striking fell to an all-time low last year

The number of workers taking part in strike action fell to a record low last year, according to official statistics.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 170,000 days were lost to strikes last year, compared to 788,000 days in 2014 when there were a series of large scale public sector disputes.

The figures show that disputes over pay led to the most disputes, accounting for 71% of the total days lost. Strike action over redundancy accounted for another 20% of the total.

ONS labour market statistician Nick Palmer said: “Days lost to strikes last year – at 170,000 – were well down on 2014, when 788,000 days were lost to disputes. Indeed, the 2015 total was the second lowest since records began, with only 2005 lower, at 157,000 days lost.

‘The main reason that 2014 had a higher figure than last year was that it saw a number of large scale public sector strikes that were not repeated in 2015. In all 81,000 workers went on strike in 2015, the lowest figure since records began in 1893.’

Last year the Government pleged to introduce tighter controls on industrial action, with plans to ban strike action in health, education, fire and transport unless the majority of eligible union members vote in favour of striking.

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