Industrial Disputes, Australia

Latest release

The number of disputes (strikes or lockouts), employees involved and working days lost; cause of dispute; duration; and the reason work resumed

Reference period
September 2022
Released
8/12/2022
  • Next Release 9/03/2023
    Industrial Disputes, Australia, December 2022
  • Next Release 8/06/2023
    Industrial Disputes, Australia, March 2023
  • View all releases

Key statistics

In the September quarter 2022:

  • 70 disputes occurred.
  • 22,200 employees were involved and 28,100 working days lost.
  • disputes occurred in 8 industries and in 8 states and territories.

During the year ended September 2022, there were 182 disputes and a total of 244,200 working days lost.

Key Statistics
 QuarterYear ended
June Quarter 2022September Quarter 2022September Quarter 2021September Quarter 2022
Number of disputes (no.)
 New4560118164
 Total 5270123182
Employees involved ('000)
 New71.221.222.2153.2
 Total 73.722.222.6159.8
Working days lost ('000) 128.128.164.6244.2

Guide to labour statistics

To learn more about our different labour measures, their purpose and how to use them, see our Guide to labour statistics. It provides summary information on labour market topics including Industry employment and Earnings data.

Overview

In the September quarter 2022, there were:

  • 70 disputes, 18 more than from the previous quarter.
  • 22,200 employees involved, a decrease from 73,700 in the previous quarter.
  • 28,100 working days lost, a decrease from 128,100 in the previous quarter.

Year ended estimates:

  • 182 disputes occurred, 59 more than in the previous year.
  • 244,200 working days were lost, 179,700 more than the previous year.

 

Industrial disputes which occurred during the quarter
 Number of disputesEmployees involvedWorking days lost
New (no.)Total (no.)New ('000)Total ('000)('000)
September Quarter 202019214.24.311.7
December Quarter 202027322.22.616.5
March Quarter 202122242.32.719.2
June Quarter 202130366.06.410.4
September Quarter 2021395011.713.318.5
December Quarter 2021375550.657.268.5
March Quarter 2022223010.111.419.6
June Quarter 2022455271.273.7128.1
September Quarter 2022607021.222.228.1

Long-term trends

The level of industrial disputation over recent years is considerably lower than in the 1980's and prior decades.

Industry

In the September quarter, disputes occurred in eight industries. Over a quarter (27%) of the total working days lost were in the Education and training; Health care and social assistance industry.

Industrial disputes which occurred during the quarter, industry
 June Quarter 2022September Quarter 2022
Working days lost ('000)Working days lost per thousand employees (no.)Working days lost ('000)Working days lost per thousand employees (no.)
Mining
 Coal miningnpnpnpnp
 Other mining0.10.5npnp
Manufacturing
 Metal product etc (a)npnp1.86.1
 Other manufacturing0.71.41.01.9
Construction0.60.63.13.0
Transport, postal & warehousing2.64.31.93.1
Education & training; Health care & social assistance116.639.27.62.5
Other industries (a)6.91.04.10.6
All industries128.110.428.12.3

-     nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
np  not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated
(a)  see Glossary - Industry - for details of industries included 

States and territories

Disputes occurred in eight states and territories in the September quarter, with more than half (52%) of the total working days lost occurring in New South Wales.

Industrial disputes which occurred during the quarter, states and territories
 June Quarter 2022September Quarter 2022
Working days lost ('000)Working days lost per thousand employees (no.)Working days lost ('000)Working days lost per thousand employees (no.)
New South Wales120.631.214.63.8
Victoria2.90.92.50.8
Queensland0.60.22.41.0
South Australia1.82.32.02.5
Western Australia1.30.9npnp
Tasmania--2.39.8
Northern Territory0.10.71.713.8
Australian Capital Territory0.73.3npnp
Australia128.110.428.12.3

-     nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
np  not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated  

Cause of dispute

Most industrial disputes are Enterprise Bargaining (EB) related. Over the past 10 years, disputes over employment conditions have generally been the most prevalent. 

EB related issues were the cause of 88% of disputes (37 of 42) which ended in the June quarter 2022.

 

Cause of disputes which ended during the quarter
 March Quarter 2022June Quarter 2022
Number of disputes (no.)Employees involved ('000)Working days lost ('000)Number of disputes (no.)Employees involved ('000)Working days lost ('000)
Enterprise Bargaining related
 Remuneration62.22.9119.39.4
 Employment conditions110.92.42619.739.2
 Other ------
Non-Enterprise Bargaining related
 Remuneration1npnp---
 Employment conditions1-----
 Health and safety34.23.110.30.2
 Job security---1npnp
 Managerial policy1npnp20.10.1
 Union issues------
 Other---1npnp
Total 238.08.84229.548.9

-    nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated 

Working days lost

Working days lost is a measure of the length of a dispute, relative to the number of employees involved.

Of the 42 disputes which ended in the June quarter, 27 lasted up to and including 1 day. These disputes had:

  • 13,700 employees involved; and
  • 13,200 working days lost.
Working days lost for disputes which ended during the quarter
 March Quarter 2022June Quarter 2022
Number of disputes (no.)Employees involved ('000)Working days lost ('000)Number of disputes (no.)Employees involved ('000)Working days lost ('000)
Up to and including 1 day96.74.22713.713.2
Over 1 day and up to 2 days2npnp310.018.4
Over 2 days and up to 5 days101.13.685.311.7
Over 5 days and less than 10 days1npnp30.31.6
10 days and over1npnp10.23.9
Total238.08.84229.548.9

np  not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated 

Reason work resumed

The reason work resumed relates to the last day of action taken. Resumption of work can occur without resolution to the issues that triggered the dispute. 

There was a pre-determined return to work for 88% of disputes (37 of 42) which ended in the June quarter 2022. 

 

Reason work resumed for disputes which ended during the quarter
 March Quarter 2022June Quarter 2022
Number of disputes (no.)Employees involved ('000)Working days lost ('000)Number of disputes (no.)Employees involved ('000)Working days lost ('000)
Negotiation without intervention of a third party---50.34.1
State legislation------
Federal legislation2-----
Pre-determined return to work152.84.63729.244.8
Resumption without negotiation41.91.5---
Mediation23.32.6---
Other reasons------
Total238.08.84229.548.9

-     nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
np  not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated  

Data downloads

Time Series Spreadsheets

Data files

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Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6321.0.55.001.

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