Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions

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Strike action - where, when and why

Latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals Queensland lost 25,300 working days in 2018 due to industrial action. 

Queensland has more working days lost per 1,000 employees than both NSW and Victoria.  However this should be placed in context against the fact that current days lost due to industrial action remain very low by historical standards.  Please see my earlier post on how industrial action is taken under the Fair Work framework.

Broken down by industry metal product manufacturing and construction are the two industries with the highest working days lost due to industrial action in 2018.  

The main reason for why industrial action was taken in Australia in 2018 relates to employment conditions as part of enterprise bargaining (EA).  That is, strike action is taken to place pressure on an employer for more favourable terms in an EA that is under negotiation.  Other major reasons for industrial action relate to either remuneration as part of an EA negotiation or for workplace health and safety reasons.  WHS action on the face of it sounds pretty reasonable however there are instances where this has been used as a form of 'industrial bastardry' to coerce companies negotiating an EA.

A link to industrial action statistics in Australia can be found here.


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