The cost of labour disputes

I continue with the previous post by Jure on labour disputes. Though the goal of striking is somewhat noble, it is also clear that negative effects accompany strikes. We have seen this being covered in media – traffic chaos because of the strike of public transport workers, airport workers’ strikes halting the air traffic etc. In one of the most recent cases, the strike in the Grangemouth oil refinery, it was estimated that the strike could cost the UK economy £50m a day. See here.

The statistics show, that many countries lose because of labour disputes in form of working days not worked. Spain and Canada are the countries affected the most according to this study of a period 1997-2006; they saw on average 170 and 186 working days respectively not worked per 1000 employees in a year. In Spain proportionally more of the days lost were in the production and construction industries; in Canada there were working days lost evenly in the services sector and the production and construction industries.

From the data we can also see, that the working days lost per 1000 employees varies greatly among countries and that there are countries which lose mainly because of labour disputes in the production and construction industries (Finland, France, Norway etc) and those who suffer equally because of the services sector and the production and construction industries (the UK, Ireland, The US).


2 thoughts on “The cost of labour disputes

  1. In Slovenia we have 14 days free of work per year, same number of free days have in Croatia and one less in Austria. Other neighbour countries have even less, Ital for example 13 and Hungary just 11 days free of work. I’m writing this because one week ago we celebrate 1st of May, and in Slovenia we have two days in a row free day. Every year in Slovenia appears debate rather we should just have one day free like is usual in other European countries also because this affects our national output. And holidays on different days in different countries effects business between this countries.

  2. On average the 15 older EU member states have 15 national holidays with no work, the 10 accession countries have on average 13. Estonia has 12 national holidays which are free of work. In the last few years there has been a debate whether workers should be provided additional days off, when the national holiday is on the weekend, but no changes have been made so far.


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