Ireland was once notorious for the number of working days — as well as for production — lost because of strikes and industrial action. However, during the 1990s, fewer days overall have been lost because of industrial disputes than in previous decades. In the 1970s, an average of 583,978 days were lost. In the 1980s, the figure was 317,078 days per year.
Last year in Ireland, the number of working days lost because of industrial disputes was 37,374, half of what was lost in 1997. High as this figure may still seem, it’s the lowest since 1994 when 25,550 days were lost.
However, disputes in 1998 affected more workers and more firms than those in 1997. In 1998, 34 disputes affected 62 firms and 8,060 workers. In 1997, there were 28 disputes that affected 5,364 workers in 33 firms.
The services sector accounted for more than half of the days lost in 1998, while transport, storage and the communications sector accounted for more than one-fifth.