Organization responsible for the statistics

The statistics are collected, compiled and published by the Labour Department.

Objectives and users

Not available.


Strikes and lockouts

The statistics cover: Political or protest strikes are not included, nor are working to rule, go-slows, overtime bans or sit-ins.

Minimum threshold: None.

Economic activities

No particular branches of economic activity or sectors are excluded.


Workers directly involved and workers indirectly involved. As well as regular paid employees, temporary, casual or seasonal workers are included in the statistics if they are employed at the time of the strike. No distinction is made between part-time workers and full-time workers. Workers laid off, or absent on sick or annual leave or absent for any other reason are not included.

Police officers, prison officers, fire fighters, defence and security workers are not covered by the statistics.

Geographic areas

Whole country.

Types of data collected

Concepts and definitions

Work stoppage or strike

(both terms are used interchangeably) The withholding of labour by the employees to express a grievance or enforce or resist a demand. Both terms are also used in a general sense where the party effecting the temporary work stoppage is unspecified.


A work stoppage resulting from employers refusing to admit workers to work because of some unsettled dispute.

These are working definitions.

Methods of measurement

Strikes and lockouts

The basic unit of measurement used to record a strike or lockout is the case of dispute.

A strike or lockout that is interrupted but which later resumes, still due to the same case of dispute, is counted as a new strike or lockout.

Work stoppages arising from the same case of dispute, occurring simultaneously in different establishments of the same firm are counted as one stoppage. Those arising from the same case of dispute, occurring at different times in different establishments of the same firm are counted separately.

Economic units involved

The economic unit is the establishment, defined as the place of business where persons are employed; there is no defined limit to the number of persons employed. In the case of sympathetic or general strikes, information concerning the number of economic units involved may not always be recorded.

Workers involved

The number of workers involved is the maximum number of workers that took part during the course of the stoppage, even if some workers participated for only part of the duration. Part-time workers are counted as individuals on the same basis as full-time workers.


The duration is measured in workdays from the date the strike or lockout began in the first economic unit involved up to the date it terminated in the last one.

Time not worked

Total time not worked is the product of the number of workers involved and the number of workhours not worked, converted to workdays (by dividing by eight). Time not worked is measured for all workers involved, whether directly or indirectly. The shorter working hours of part-time workers are not taken into account, nor is overtime.


Cause of dispute

Classified in accordance with Resolution concerning statistics of industrial disputes, adopted by the Third International Conference of Labour Statisticians (1926).

Branch of economic activity

The data are classified by branch of economic activity using the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC). In the case of general or sympathy strikes or lockouts, the data are classified under the branch of economic activity where the issue developed.

Reference period and periodicity

The statistics are compiled for periods of a quarter and a year, and are published for periods of a year. They refer to strikes and lockouts beginning during the particular reference period plus those continuing from the previous period.

Analytical measures


Historical background of the series

Not available.


Series available

Not available.

Bibliographic references

Labour Department: Annual Report (annual).

Data published by the ILO

The number of strikes and lockouts, the number of workers involved and the number of days not worked, by economic activity.


Not available.

International standards

Not available.

Methods of data collection

There is no legal obligation to report the occurrence of a strike or lockout. Information is obtained by the Department of Labour which, once aware of a strike or lockout, requests the employer by mail to provide information regarding cause, persons involved directly and indirectly and the period of the stoppage.